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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 26160
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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Hello. I would like to ask what my next step would be in

Customer Question

Hello.

I would like to ask what my next step would be in my situation. I am married to a US navy guy from Illinois, got married in the USA and roughly two months after i delivered our baby in Manila (1 year 4 months married), he just abandoned us. I realized days after that while in Singapore, where he is currently serving active duty in the Navy, he met someone and is in a relationship with her. I have photos of them two and an email that he admitted he is seeing someone. I would like him to take responsibility of our child for he is only 2 months old now. He left me some debt with my son's hospital bill when he was delivered. He was in the neonatal ICU for 2 weeks and incurred a big hospital bill. He initiated buying a condominium unit in Manila that he is paying for as future investment and I want him to pay and take responsibility of that too.

Thank you for your help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

Ma'am I am checking to see if you are still looking for an answer to your question.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes I still am for I haven't received any reply to my query yet. Thank you
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thank you

YOu mention this fellow is Active Duty in Singapore. Can you tell me, have you contacted his commander in Singapore and complained about this (that he is not supporting you, his spouse)?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I haven't but that's what I thought of doing next. I am planning to write a letter concerning this matter, have it notarized in the US embassy in Manila and send it to his chain of command in Singapore, Peoria Illinois (his origin) and San Diego (the take off point base for this job in Singapore. Is there another avenue i can take aside from writing a letter? This just happened recently like almost two weeks ago and I have tried contacting him, emails, chats, text messages but he is ignoring all those. Last Financial support provided was may 3 to pay part of my sons hospital bill.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
That is a good start...but let me ask you one more question...how is it you know he is Active Duty in Singapore? Is it from him directly? Or from someone he knows?

Also, do you have a copy of your marriage license?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

It is from him directly and also i have soft copy of his orders and travel orders.


 


Yes, Sir, I have a copy of our marriage license.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thank you

Under the Navy Rules, a Sailor is required to provide support for their spouse. You can see the rule that applies here

MILPERSMAN 1754-030


As you can see, he is required to provide you monthly support.

A letter to his current commanding officer is a good start. You would want to provide a copy of your marriage license along with the letter (that lets the commander know that you are, in fact, his spouse)

As for the medical bills? I would include a copy of the bills as well. Since this is his child, technically the child would be eligible for TRICARE (this is an insurance program sponsored by the department of defense). This, I suspect, will help the commander decide to order the sailor to follow the rules regarding support.

I would send the letter to his current commander in Singapore. And then I would follow up in a few weeks to ensure that the letter was received and ask the commander if the will take action.

What you describe? Once the commander understands what is happening, I expect they will order your spouse to begin to provide you with support.


Let me know if you have more questions...happy to assist if I can



Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks so much.


 


I just wonder in the situation now that he left us, me and my son, he never mentioned about filing a divorce. However, everytime I ask him how he intends to support his son and how to pay off the property he bought but getting paid using my checking account, he doesn't answer. I am thinking if there's any action he's trying to avoid or an agenda he is planning that will consequently justify his action of abandoning us?

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
I do not see any justification for this. That is why I recommend you contact his commanding officer. As I mention, the rules clearly require he support you. So if you notify his commander, I expect they will order he follow the rules.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

That's good to know.


 


I would also like to ask, would there be any bearing at all in this case, if I am living and staying in the Philippines and not in the USA? If everything boils down to divorce, and considering this fact, would I be eligible for some legal aid from his hometown in Peoria, Illinois?


 


Would there be a case of abandonment at this point? Setting aside divorce for example for the time being? The scenario was he just said one day he doesnt want to be with me anymore, worse referred to our son...as MY son?

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Divorce is separate from the military rules for support. Totally separate.

The fact you are in the PI is not a bar for support...he is required to support you regardless of where you live so long as the marriage is intact.

That said, there is no rule which would allow you to get legal aid from the US. You would need to hire a lawyer in the US if you wish to pursue a US divorce

Abandonment? I am not sure what you mean by that...you are married or you are not married. Either of you can file for divorce. The fact he is not living with you is really not an issue. Either of you can file for divorce if you like.
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 26160
Experience: Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
P. Simmons and other Military Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello again. I would like to ask if there's a time frame I should wait before writing a letter to his chain of command? Meaning time frame he hasn't sent financial support?! The abandonment happened May 13 and last support came May 3, nothing after that. Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Sir. It is me again. So from our previous correspondence, I have already sent letters of complaint to the chain of command of my husband in Singapore and San Diego and also forwarded the same to the Reserve Center in Peoria, Illinois.

As of this date, the Master chief from Singapore has reprimanded him and commanded him to put me on DEERS and my son in his dependents too coz we realized he never claimed us on his Page 2 only his 3 children from previous wife. Currently, I have submitted to them the consular report of birth abroad of my son for the same purpose and husband asked me to go to the US embassy to have my navy dependent card printed. He has sent me "some support" but not even enough to cover for the balance of my son's hospital bill. Haven't heard from the chief in Peoria or master chief in Singapore if they will push for the MILPERSMAN law on family support. I wonder if I should ask.

Also, I have recently known that the disability payment from the VA came out and a check was issued to him amounting to almost $40k plus checks monthly amounting to $800. Now, I am wondering and have questions about these:

1. Wondering If my husband reported as married and listed me or my son as dependents to get a higher disability pay BUT not in essence supporting his family, should I report this in the VA as fraud? How would I know such detail?

2. Is it legal for my husband to receive his disability pay even if he will be staying in the Philippines? His disability comes not as direct deposit but as check in his moms house. I believe the reason behind this is he wants to stay under the radar as far as the child support with the ex wife/children is concerned. Should I report that too?

3. . How can I pursue to be paid, according to MILPERSMAN 50% of his gross pay? The support that my son and I deserves.

4. It seems that the husband is not going to pursue divorce because of some perks he is getting staying married, tax refunds and all. Also, whatever he has left, I don't think he would spend that ,only for divorce. But, staying married, how can I push him to pay monthly support if he has gone IRR, and is staying n the Philippines with the mistress?

I hope you can help me with these questions for I just don't want him to run away not taking responsibility to us or his son.

Thank you very much!
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Let me try and answer in order


1. Wondering If my husband reported as married and listed me or my son as dependents to get a higher disability pay BUT not in essence supporting his family, should I report this in the VA as fraud? How would I know such detail?

Something is not correct. It is not possible to receive VA pay and active duty pay at the same time.

You can report this to the VA if you like...but as I mention, he can not receive VA pay if he is in the military. If he has, the VA will take that money back


2. Is it legal for my husband to receive his disability pay even if he will be staying in the Philippines? His disability comes not as direct deposit but as check in his moms house. I believe the reason behind this is he wants to stay under the radar as far as the child support with the ex wife/children is concerned. Should I report that too?

See above. It is not possible to receive VA disability and military pay at the same time. There is no problem with receiving VA pay if he is overseas....but he can not receive it if he is in the Navy. So you can report this if you like, to the VA


3. . How can I pursue to be paid, according to MILPERSMAN 50% of his gross pay? The support that my son and I deserves.

Contact his commanding officer.



4. It seems that the husband is not going to pursue divorce because of some perks he is getting staying married, tax refunds and all. Also, whatever he has left, I don't think he would spend that ,only for divorce. But, staying married, how can I push him to pay monthly support if he has gone IRR, and is staying n the Philippines with the mistress?

If he is in the IRR? Not on active duty? Then there is not any way to force him to pay you anything. THe rule that requires he pay you only applies if he is on active duty. If he is in the IRR? Then he is not required to pay you any money at all. The rule that requires he pay you only applies to active duty

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I haven't asked about the 50% of gross pay, just wondering if I should directly ask? Is it okay to do that. Just fearful for them to think I am making steps ahead before they actually make a decision and might think I'm too pushy.

Yes, I heard from friend too he cannot receive disability payment if he is on active duty. Then after his active duty will he be paid that amount again? Or is it going to be taken back for good?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
It is fine to ask. But as I mention, if he is not on active duty, there are no rules requiring he pay you anything. And if he is receiving VA compensation? It may be he is not on active duty...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is currently activated in Songapore. And this is going to end in August. Is there a possibility the VA doesn't know. He filed is disability long time ago I think and the check just came a month ago I think or few weeks ago and we already activated in Singapore. This is fraud I know and for sure just like in his taxes he would file for dependents for tax refund purposes but not really supporting them
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
It is possible the VA does not know. But they will find out...and when they do, they will take the money back.

But you can certainly notify the VA and tell them as much
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok sir thank you so much and I will think about it.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Yes Ma'am, best of luck
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sir, I forgot to ask. I also sent my letter of complaint to the department of defense DFAS. They have replied to me and said I should give them an income withholding order for them to be able to process my request of support. How do I get this?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
DFAS will not process your claim without a court order. SO you would need to go to court and ask the court to order he pay you money. You will need to have a local attorney file a motion in the family court to see if the court will order he pay you support...then DFAS will enforce the order

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sir, good morning. The master chief from Singapore called me the other day and told me that they cannot impose or push my husband for allotment for family support, even if the MILPERSMAN clearly states family support. Apparently, thru MILPERSMAN, its more of it COULD impose but not really SHOULD impose the allotment for family support which i find really weird. Is it possible that the reason behind this is that activation in singapore will end in 3 weeks and imposing on the rules of family support may be tedious and may take time?


 


I wonder what I can do now if the Navy apparently can only do so much in cases like these?


 


Thank you so much.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
It is true MILPERSMAN is policy...the Navy can choose to not follow their policy

If the navy will not follow its rules, you may want to consider contacting your congressman and complaining...it may be your congressman can put pressure on the navy to follow its policy

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