Generally, child support payments apply to unmarried, separated, or divorced parents. However, the Department of Defence requires military members to support their children regardless of custodial and marital status.
Specifically, each branch of the military has regulations that define a military member’s support obligation. In this article, we’ll discuss how child support applies to parents who are military service personnel. You can also consult your attorney for detailed information.
Determining Child Support for Service Members
A parent’s income is usually the basis for calculating child support payments. However, determining a service member’s income can be challenging because their paycheck is quite different.
In addition to the base salary, there are several benefits that military personnel receive. Some of these include Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS), Dislocation Allowance (DLA), and Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA).
Be aware that military benefits are tax-free, and child support guidelines work with all income whether or not they’re taxable. Therefore, a tax return might not be helpful. Instead, the Leave and Earning Statement (LES) will provide a more detailed report. If your spouse doesn’t give the LES, child support lawyers in Norristown, PA, can help you get it from the military.
You’ll also need to know if your spouse is responsible for children’s health insurance or daycare cost from their military income. Once you have information about your spouse’s income, the process of determining child support is similar to that for civilian parents. It involves using the state’s child support guidelines, which your attorney can guide you through.
Interim Child Support Payments Through the Military
The military’s family support regulations provide guidelines for calculating a personnel’s financial responsibility in the absence of an existing order. Therefore, they can determine an interim support payment until a court gives an order. However, this amount is generally less than what you’ll obtain from using state guidelines.
If you and your co-parent can’t determine a support amount and a court hasn’t approved one yet, you can consult the military guideline. Each branch of the military has it’s support guidelines. Therefore, it’s best to discuss with child support lawyers Norristown PA, to help you with the appropriate one.
Consequences of Not Paying Child Support
As stated earlier, there are federal regulations that guide a military parent’s support obligations. These regulations also help ensure compliance with payment, either from a written agreement between the parents or court order.
The federal laws give commanding officers the authority to pursue non-judicial punishments against service personnel who fail to support their families. Therefore, in addition to civilian punishments, erring military members can receive a reduced rank or extra rounds as punishments.
However, the military may not be able to force the parent to make payments. Therefore, if you want to enforce child support, you’ll need to inform the court.
The rules guiding child support payments is different for parents in the military. If your ex-spouse is a service member, your child may be entitled to more in support payments. Discuss your case with child support lawyers in Norristown, PA, immediately.