Collecting Child Support from a Noncustodial Parent Serving in the Military


If you are seeking a Pasadena divorce and your spouse is in the military, you will likely find it easier to collect child support than someone with an ex who is employed in the private sector. The United States military takes the obligation of parents to support their children very seriously. Military wages of both active duty and retired service members can be garnished if needed.

After the child support obligation is established, you must complete an "Income Withholding Order" to request that payment be withheld from the service member's paycheck. This form allows for a maximum of either 50% (if he currently is supporting a spouse or child) or 60% (if he is not currently supporting a spouse or child) of the service member's disposable income to be garnished for child support obligations. If the payment is considered in arrears for more than 12 weeks, the maximum deduction increases to either 55% or 65%.

If a military service member has multiple support orders and does not have enough disposable income to meet all of his legal obligations, funds will be distributed on a pro-rata system. This includes alimony or spousal support obligations, if applicable.

Sometimes, noncustodial parents are ordered to provide health insurance for their minor children as part of the divorce settlement. If your ex is supposed to carry health insurance for his children, you will need to send a copy of this order to his personnel office head, commanding officer, or First Sergeant. They will follow up with notification of what additional steps must be taken.

If you are entitled to child support or alimony payments from a member of the military, it is important to select a Pasadena divorce attorney with experience in military affairs. Regardless of a lawyer's previous experience with divorce settlements, dealing with military cases requires specialized knowledge.