Military Divorce Child Support

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The term 'divorce' encompasses a lot of important areas. Spousal support, alimony, child custody, property distribution, visitation rights, etc., are the most important factors of this legal concept. In USA divorce is a province of the state government. So all the relevant laws and guidelines come under the purview of the state government. Every state decides its own rules for civilian and military divorces . Although there are not many differences between these types, military divorce has certain unique rules that are not followed in case of a civilian divorce. Let us take the example of child support. Every state in this nation has set forth different guidelines for this matter. Likewise every branch of the military service has varied interim child support rules. As such the concept of military divorce child support is really difficult to understand. It is better to know the guidelines of your state and act accordingly.

The rules and procedures for child maintenance meant for civilian parents differ from those of military service members. To start with, the income of the service member has to be found. This is done by referring to the following documents:

  • Attorney General tax chart
  • Military pay chart
  • Leave and earning statement

Calculation of Military Divorce Child Support

After the pay of a service member has been found out in the first step, the next steps are as follows:

  • The annual income is calculated: This is an addition of all the monthly incomes.
  • The annual income is divided by 12. The resulting amount is termed as the 'gross monthly income'
  • The Attorney General Tax Chart is referred to and the 'gross monthly income' is applied to it.
  • For each child, the permissible percentage is found out. The 'gross monthly income' is multiplied by this percentage.

The amount so obtained is the child maintenance amount. In addition to this, a service member is also responsible for the following expenses:

  • Child care costs: When a service member is deployed, it is not possible for them to help the custodial parent to take care of the child. During this phase, the child care costs might increase.
  • Health insurance: It is expected that military members would arrange for the health insurance of dependent children.

Some allowances like clothing allowance and housing allowance are added to the pay of the military service member.

Percent payment of Military Divorce Child Support

Some custodial parents complain that they are not being given the complete ordered amount. It is because the payer lacks adequate disposable income to permit a deduction of a complete support amount frequently.

The Consumer Credit Protection Act has declared that 50 to 65 percent of the disposable earnings may be deducted for reasons of child subsidy. The following table would clarify the rules in this regard.

The payer has accrued an arrearage The payer has furnished proof that he/she is offering more than 50 percent of the support of dependents excluding those for whom the support amount is to be deducted Percentage of disposable earnings
Yes No 65
No No 60
Yes Yes 55
No Yes 50

Multiple Child Support Income Withholding Orders

Let us assume that the payer earns a disposable amount that can suffice for the payments of complete amounts of all the orders. In such a case, complete payments of all orders are authorized.

At times, a situation opposite to the above exists. Then, as per Federal Law a pro rata section of the available income is disbursed for every obligation. In this method, the amounts of each order are divided by the total amount of earnings that is disposed. In this way, the pro rata share is found out. This percentage of the disposable income is disbursed for each obligation.

Some key points

  • It must be noted that although Service Members Civil Relief Act provide some flexibility to a military divorce, but this is not the case in child subsidy. A military personnel has to fulfill the parental duties of supporting their child.
  • The housing allowance, termed as the Basic Allowance for Housing is considered while calculating the support amount. This allowance certainly varies according to the different ranks. The military personnel must provide support in an amount that is equal to the full housing for allowance.
  • In order to enforce an order related to providing health insurance coverage for children, a custodial parent should send a copy of the order to the other parent's office.

The two most big and complex issues in a divorce are children and money. And the complexity of these issues increases when one parent serves in the military. Military personnel have to move from one part of the nation to the other and thus they suffer much. It is imperative that these personnel know all the details of the military divorce child support guidelines of their state, and prepare their case under the guidance of efficient lawyers.

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