There are many aspects of a divorce that will be different if one spouse is a member of the military and the same is true concerning child support dispute. This article will help you begin to learn the specific set of guidelines for determining a child support award if you or the other parent of the child is an active member of the military.
To begin, there are certain aspects of military compensation that differ from civilian compensation schemes. For example, civilians often receive pay stubs or pay statements from their employers detailing their income, but service members receive Leave and Earning Statements (LES). These are vastly different from pay stubs and may be challenging to use in determining a service member’s child support obligation. This is because it may be more difficult to determine exactly what should be considered the gross income of a service member.
Luckily, Georgia law regarding child support sets out specific guidelines concerning which forms of military compensation and allowances are considered gross income for the purposes of calculating child support. Income for a parent who is an active duty member of the regular or reserve component of the United States armed forces, the United States Coast Guard, the merchant marine of the United States, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Guard, or the Air National Guard will include the following:
- Base pay;
- Drill pay;
- Basic allowance for subsistence, whether paid directly to the parent or received in-kind; and
- Basic allowance for housing, whether paid directly to the parent or received in-kind, determined at the parent’s pay grade at the without dependent rate, but shall include only so much of the allowance that is not attributable to area variable housing costs. Except as determined by the court or jury, special pay or incentive pay, allowances for clothing or family separation, and reimbursed expenses related to the parent’s assignment to a high cost of living location shall not be considered income for the purposes of determining gross income.
Once the gross income of both the custodial and noncustodial parent is determined, then the remaining process will be the same as a civilian child support dispute. Each parent’s monthly gross income will be adjusted by deducting any amount due to self-employment taxes, preexisting orders, and theoretical child support. Next, the parent’s adjusted income will be added together. The basic child support obligation will then be found through the Georgia child support obligation table. The pro rata share of basic child support obligation for the custodial and noncustodial parent will be calculated. Lastly, any additional adjustments or deductions will be added in to come to the amount of child support due.
If you or the other parent of your child is a member of the military and you or that parent is in need of child support, please contact the experienced attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum. Our team understands the differing issues that is involved when one parent is a member of the military. We will work will you to ensure that these special set of rules are appropriately applied.