Child support and spousal maintenance can bring notable financial complications to any divorce, but this is even more true of splits involving service members. A few of the most notable concerns related to military-based support are highlighted below:
Determining Earnings And Payments
Military members and civilians largely pursue the same approach for determining child support and spousal maintenance. In both cases, requirements are dictated by the state in which the spouse paying support resides.
The first step to completing a valid calculation of child or spousal support obligations: determining how much you actually earn as a military member. This can prove surprisingly complicated. Official military pay charts provide a helpful start, but the Basic Allowance for Subsistence or Separate Rations (BAS) and Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) should also be taken into account.
Once you’ve determined your monthly obligation, feel free to set up automatic withdrawals from your military income. Approved by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, these withdrawals are known as voluntary allotments.
Obligation to Pay
Beyond calculating pay and furnishing voluntary allotments, the main difference between child custody for service members and civilians lies in the role of obligation. The military imposes a strict sense of duty for service members, who are required to use their earnings to support dependents. This obligation holds firm in the aftermath of divorce — and the consequences can be harsh for service members who fail to abide by child support or spousal maintenance requirements.
Your status as a service member can hold huge implications for every aspect of the divorce process. As you navigate these complications, don’t hesitate to seek support from an attorney who understands the ins and outs of military divorce. The team at the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. is is happy to help — reach out today to learn more.