Military Law on Alimony and Child Support

Military Law on Alimony and Chil

Military law on alimony and child support is outlined in the provisions of the United States Code (USC). The military will enforce an order for either spousal support or child support made by a U.S. court. Support orders made in countries where the U.S. is bound by an agreement to honor them will also be enforced by the military.

Garnishment of Military Pay

The USC specifies that all money payable as employment income to a uniformed member of the Armed Forces may be subject to garnishment. It includes basic pay, bonuses, severance pay and inactive duty training pay.

Limits to Garnishment

Up to 60 percent of the member's disposable earnings can be taken to pay for child support or spousal support if the member is not providing over half the support to a spouse or a dependent child. A person who is supporting a spouse or a child may have up to 50 percent of his or her disposable earnings garnished.

Payments in Arrears

When the spousal or child support payments are more than 12 weeks in arrears, the maximum amount that can be deducted increases to either 55 percent (for a member supporting a spouse or child) or 65 percent for a member who is not doing so.

Duty to Pay Support

All parents, whether they are in the military or not, have a duty to financially support their children. Service personnel are subject to the same kinds of automatic deductions for child support as their civilian counterparts. When spousal support has been ordered, the amount owing will be deducted automatically as well. Check out LTK's article on Garnishment of Wages After Divorce for more information about this topic.

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Military Law on Alimony and Child Support