Support of Dependants

Support of Dependants

Reference: MILPERSMAN 6210120

The Navy will not act as a haven for personnel who disregard or evade obligations to support family members. The Navy is not, however, vested with the statutory authority or resources to resolve matters of a purely civil nature. Arrangements for family support should ideally be mutually agreed upon .or adjudicated in the civil courts. The Navy has established a support guideline which can be used prior to a mutual agreement or obtaining a court order. This guideline is only for the internal use of the Navy and should not be used as a basis for any Judicial proceeding. The Navy cannot order or compel a servicemember to pay this or any other specific amount absent a court order.
Spouse only 1/3 gross pay
Spouse and one minor child 1/2 gross pay
Spouse and two or more children 3/5 gross pay
One minor child 1/6 gross pay
Two minor children 1/4 gross pay
Three minor children 1/3 gross pay

Gross pay includes basic pay, basic allowance for .quarters, and variable housing allowance, if entitled, but does not include hazardous duty pay, sea pay or foreign duty pay, incentive pay or basic allowance for subsistence.

If a court order is obtained for child or spousal support and the service member fails to comply with that order, the spouse may obtain a garnishment order from the same or different court and the servicemember's pay may be garnished. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) also provides for garnishment or direct payment to enforce the terms of a property settlement incident to divorce if certain requirements are met. Garnishment orders may be served personally or by registered or certified mail to: Director, Defense Finance and Accounting Service. Cleveland Center, 1240 E, 9th Street, Cleveland OH 44199.

Under, the Tax Equity and Fiscal, Responsibility Act of 1982, if a servicemember is two or more months in arrears on child or spousal support, the service member's spouse (or former spouse) may file a complaint with the appropriate state authorities. Upon notification by the state authorities, military authorities are required to notify the servicemember to begin payments within 30 days or suffer automatic deductions of the payments from his/her pay.

The above Navy policy concerning support of dependents as well as the support guidelines applies equally to illegitimate children in those cases when the servicemember has acknowledged paternity.

Spouses and/or former spouses who are not receiving agreed upon support from servicemembers should initially contact the servicemember's command for assistance. Legal assistance is also available from the local Naval Legal Service Office.

(NOTE from BJ 'n Cindy: This was designed by and for the US Naval Service, but the information should be similar for all services. The information while deemed reliable should not be the substitute for consultation with an attorney (either civilian or military), or any other federal or state agency which may be chartered with providing assistance.)

The material in this handbook is current as of September 1993. Prepared by LCDR D. L. KARR, JAGG, USN, Naval Legal Service Office, Puget Sound.