Child Support Payments and the Military

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Military child support law governs the award of child support in military divorce cases.  The law provides guidelines about when a parent is responsible for paying child support, how much that support should be, and how the Court’s order should be enforced.  Often the award of child support can become a battle between the ex-spouses.  In order to prevent such battles, it is important to understand the specific laws and rules that govern the establishment and enforceability of military child support decisions.

Establishing Military Child Support

In order to establish military child support payments, you need to have child support included in your divorce decree.  Child support is often determined according to the military child support calculator.  The military child support calculator determines child support payments according to the military member’s income level and the number of children whom he is supporting.  The children are entitled to a percentage of their parent’s military income as child support.

Laws that Enforce Military Child Support Payments

Federal law, 42 U.S.C. 659, allows the custodial parent to file an Income Withholding Order with the Defense Financing and Accounting Service to garnish the wages of the military parent who was ordered to pay child support. 

If you have any problems with wage garnishment or collecting child support you may need to go back to the court that granted your divorce. If the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act makes that temporarily impossible then you can contact the service member’s commander, executive officer, or first sergeant for assistance.

Legal Help

An experienced military divorce lawyer is essential to helping you receive adequate child support for your children and for enforcing existing child support orders.  Remember, different laws apply to the military so it is important to use a divorce lawyer with specific expertise in military divorces.