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Military Spousal Support Laws

What is Military Spousal Support?

Those who serve in the military have many rules when going through a divorce. Military rules control how a person’s income is divided. Those who file for spousal support the amount are based on the law of the state where the divorce is filed. Spousal support is broken up into payments from one spouse to another. The receiving spouse may be in a bind and need help looking for a job, stay at home with their children, or attend school. This support can either be permanent or temporary, and can either be divided up in payments, or paid on one full lump sum. Spouse support can end when the receiving spouse remarries or the death of either spouse. Spousal support can also be changed when there is a change in income or many other circumstances. Read below where people have came to ask Experts regarding their specific questions when dealing with military divorce spousal support.

Is Military Spousal Support owed at the end of the year even if the divorce has not be finalized?

The Army Regulation 608-99 states that it requires all soldiers to pay temporary support depending on the family situation. All of the payments are based on Basic Allowance for Housing- II (BAH-II), which was also known as Basic Allowance for Quarters (BAQ).

The Navy has close to the same policy. Military requires interim support of family members by the service members. These types of regulations are to make sure that the family is receiving support and continues to receive this support, even if the divorce has not been finalized. Interim support is not permanent and does not require the service members permanent support obligation. Interim is a certain amount until permanent court orders are issues, or until a support agreement is met by both parties.

Is Basic Allowance for Housing included in military spousal support calculation?

Basic Allowance for Housing can be used to consider a person’s income in the family court, and income will be used to decide the support obligations. Basic Allowance for Housing is considered by the courts. Many times those who are receiving the spousal support or providing the support often have questions on what income can be used to base the amount of support.

How can someone protect their military retirement from being used as spousal support?

In most cases, a person’s military retirement will not be affected by the decision of the court when dealing with spousal support. The entitlement to military retirement, if the entitlement was obtained during the marriage, it will be considered “marital portion” and this will be looked at as marital property, and this will be divided up 50/50 between both parties. With that being said, that does not mean that 50% of the entire amount of military retirement is being paid. The share is normally granted to the former spouse of 50% of that portion of the retirement interest that has been collected for the years of marriage. If the payment of military retired pay was granted to the former spouse, under the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA), if the marriage lasted at least ten years with at least ten of the marital years overlapping with the years of active duty, the court share of disposable retired pay can be deducted from the retiree’s retired pay and then paid over to the former spouse directly from the Defense Finance Accounting Services (DFAS). This is known as the 10-10 rule. The 10-10 rule does not apply to those if the marriage was less than 10 years.

Can a person’s military retirement check be garnished for spousal support that is court ordered and has not been paid?

Military retirement can in fact be garnished with the appropriate order stating for it to be garnished. The party that is supposed to be receiving this support needs to apply with the Defense Finance Accounting Services for the garnishment, along with the order of spousal support.

Can Military disability income be used for spousal support?

Military disability can be considered as income, but it cannot be garnished or touched. Whether the person has other income that is not disability pay, the court can look at all the income and then make the decision on whether to grant spousal support. Each state has their own statutes that prevent garnishments of disability income. If the only income being made is those of disability then the court can’t really award the spousal support.

Many rules apply when dealing with military spousal support. These rules and laws can be sometimes complex and often times hard to understand. You can ask the Experts to provide legal answers and insight regarding to military spousal support.
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Recent Spousal Support Questions

  • Are these changes in circumstances enough to decrease child

    Are these changes in circumstances enough to decrease child support. My son is in the Army. He's paying either $1400/month or maybe more child support for one child who resides in California. He lives in Texas. His ex wife is now married to a Marine and works full time. She does not receive spousal support. My son has also remarried and now has a child. They live on base. At the time of their divorce he was deployed to Afghanistan and later to Germany. He now lives stateside. His daughter is in 3rd grade and no longer in full time childcare. I don't think he was sufficiently represented. If you have any advice regarding this and how to be properly be represented I would appreciate it.
  • Hello Mr. Simmons, Im currently active duty and my retire

    Hello Mr. Simmons, I'm currently active duty and my retire date is July 31, 2014. I am divorced and have paid all of my child and spousal support on time and in full. Can my ex spouse get an enforcement order to start an allotment if I haven't been late? Will I have the opportunity to contest it? Is there a certain branch at DFAS that deals with this? Thanks for your assistance.
  • Does USFSPA apply to garnishment of spousal/child support arrears

    Does USFSPA apply to garnishment of spousal/child support arrears when the reason for retirement discharge is medical?
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