Establishing child support is an essential part of the divorce process. It ensures that children get the support they need when parents decide to part ways and divide their financial assets.
But if one or both spouses are in the military, the rules around divorce and child support may be different from those that apply to non-military individuals.
If two parties disagree on the terms of their divorce, they’ll need to follow military laws and processes that can affect child support and custody as well as pension and retirement accounts.
Consulting with a family law attorney who understands divorce laws for military personnel can help you protect your rights and secure your financial interests as you move forward.
How to Determine Child Support for Military Service Members
Under federal law, all United States military personnel must provide child support to their children. But the laws of each state take priority over military rules.
If a court order has already been established, or if both parties have entered into a written agreement on child support, both parties must comply with those agreements.
If no plan for providing child support has been put in place, then the military can determine measures to take while awaiting a court order.
In Georgia, formulas are used to calculate child support in a divorce case. But there are laws at the state and federal level that outline the responsibilities of parents when it comes to supporting their children.
Georgia court judges can exercise their discretion when deciding on child support terms in a divorce. But military parents can choose to use military regulations related to child support, which will depend on the branch of service.
Military service people may have their wages garnished to ensure child support payments are made. But court orders must be submitted to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service to garnish a person’s wages.
An Attorney Can Help You Address Child Support Issues
The rules established by the military must be considered when military service members are involved in a divorce case.
When seeking child support, you’ll need to verify if your spouse is on active military duty. You need to determine your spouse’s income, which is an essential factor to consider when calculating child support.
Obtaining this information can be a complex process. Military service members often receive benefits for food and housing, which may not be considered as part of their total income.
A family law attorney can help you gather the information you need to establish child support while one or both parties are serving in the military. They can help you verify any allowances or benefits that can impact a person’s income and their ability to pay child support.
Since military service members are employed by the federal government, the legal options you can use will be unique to your needs. Your attorney can assess the circumstances of your case.
Getting the Right Legal Resources
Common child support issues include the failure to pay, changes in personal finances, and physical separation. When one or both parties are in the military, these and other factors must be addressed in ways that may differ from non-military couples.
Military pensions and other benefits can affect child support, making it even more important for you to work with a knowledgeable family law attorney who understands military rules related to divorce.
Under the Federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, military personnel can delay court trials, which can include hearings related to divorce child custody and visitation, and child support.
An attorney who understands state and federal guidelines, as well as the laws that apply to military service members, can help you make the right legal decisions for your case.