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Ask Legalease Your Own Question
Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 16288
Experience:  15 years exp all aspects of general law
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How much bah am i supposed to give my cheating spouse while

Customer Question

how much bah am i supposed to give my cheating spouse while we are separated
JA: Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in?
Customer: Texas
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: Not yet
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: well my wife left me and now she has a partner. I think it may be another service member. I'm not sure. But I was informed by my 1sg I have to pay her half the bah until we are divorced
JA: Has anything been filed in court yet?
Customer: No
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Military Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 5 months ago.

Hello there --

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Orders for spousal and child support are handled by local state family courts and not by military courts. While the military may require that you give her half of the marriage allowance you receive until the divorce is final, anything else must go through the local family court. If you have not yet filed for divorce, my suggestion is that you contact a local attorney in the county in Texas where you will be filing the divorce and get started on it. Once the divorce is filed it is then up to your estranged wife to file what is called a Motion for Temporary Orders with the divorce court and if she does that, the court will have an expedited hearing on her request for support during the time period leading up to the divorce (a different support order may or may not be entered as part of the divorce finalization). The judge takes into consideration a number of factors when considering whether or not to order that you pay her temporary support payments during the divorce proceedings as follows (a) number of years married (if longer than 10 years, that favors her in her request -- but the court can order support for a marriage less than 10 years if the judge feels it is warranted), (b) her education and ability to support herself as a single woman, (c) her current living arrangements, (d) as a military spouse, how far she is from her own home and whether she wants to return and needs funds to do so. Please note that nowhere in there did I mention the fact that her cheating on you or you cheating on her is considered by the judge because such matters are no longer considered in a no fault divorce situation ( the courts will no longer entertain divorces based on fault grounds such as adultery or desertion -- divorce these days is simply an unwinding of economic issues and nothing more). Finally, in the end, the court uses pretty much the same criteria to determine whether or not she is entitled to any support payments after the marriage has ended. There are several different types of support payments as follows (a) permanent (usually reserved for extremely wealthy couples or couples who have been married for many many years and are they are both elderly and the wife has not worked outside the home for much of the marriage), (b) temporary payments -- usually granted for a few years after the marriage to help a woman get back on her feet after being married and possibly out of the work market for a while during the marriage (these payments are geared towards helping her live while she attends college or career training in order to find a job to support herself) and these payments are given when the marriage is shorter term (less than 20 years and in some cases less than 10 years depending upon the discretion of the judge). The amount awarded is based upon how much the ex husband actually earns for a living and if given, you can probably expect to pay about twenty percent of your gross income in spousal support (give or take a few hundred dollars and the fact that the court will likely make note of the fact that you CAN live on base as a single soldier easier than she can find an apartment off of the base).

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So, while I cannot give you an exact amount of money that a court may or may not award in spousal support, my suggestion here is that you give her ONLY what the military requires unless she takes the matter into the local family court and seeks temporary and then more permanent support. In your divorce agreement, if you are going to have to pay spousal support, your attorney needs to argue strongly that it should only last for a limited amount of time while she looks for a job or goes back to school (or returns to her own family) and that it be called "rehabilitative " alimony --- three or four years is the number that your attorney should argue strongly for because it should not take her much longer than that to either find a job or return to school, etc and you should not have to pay her for any longer period of time than that. AND you also need to make sure that your divorce agreement states clearly that any alimony payments END when she cohabitates with another person who she treats as a significant other romantically (whether a man or a woman) or at her remarriage. I have seen many a good man get burned by an ex wife who lives with another man or woman and is sharing expenses or having everything paid for and she refuses to MARRY the person because her ex husband is paying support and can only get out of it if she remarries. You do NOT want to end up in such a trap and you would be surprised by how many lawyers forget to write such a clause into the divorce agreement -- particularly in a bible belt state like Texas where cohabitation is frowned upon and not the normal thing to do.

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I hope that all of that helps you. You can find a local divorce attorney by contacting your local county bar association and they will give you referrals to several such lawyers in your area who can get this matter started for you so you can get on with your life. Your base JAG department may also have a list of local attorneys who handle such matters so you should check in with their unit as well before looking online for the bar association in your county.

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MARY

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