Check-cashing for estranged divorcees
May 10, 2007 12:29 PM Subscribe
John Doe has a check for about $450 from the Minnesota Dept of Revenue that is a state tax refund for 2004. The check is made payable to John Doe AND Jane Doe, with Jane Doe being John's ex-wife. John and Jane Doe no longer have a joint checking account nor are they on friendly speaking terms.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (23 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
A call to the Dept of Revenue confirms that the check is still valid and has not yet been cashed.
During John and Jane's divorce (in 2006) it was determined that John would be responsible for a back-tax debt, which he paid in full to Jane (directly, via personal check) as ordered. Jane never paid the tax debt and John's 2006 state tax refund was garnished for the full amount (about $350).
John wants to be able to cash the $450 MN refund check, take out the $350 that was garnished from his 2006 refund, and then send 1/2 of the remainder to Jane. However, his bank will not cash the check without Jane's signature. Jane will not endorse the check unless John has, which would then allow her to keep the money, which she would do. (Jane lives 1000+ miles away and communication would have to occur via postal mail).
Is there any (legal) way that John will be able to cash this check without Jane's involvement? Will the state of MN reissue the check in John's name only, or change the "AND" to "AND/OR"?
Anonymous because Jane knows my user name but doesn't know about the MN check.