What is Military Child Support?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

Determining and collecting child support is almost never an easy issue; if a non-custodial parent is in the military, it may even be slightly more complicated than with civilian parents. Military child support is handled somewhat differently than support for civilians. While support orders are still generally made through state or regional courts, the collection of child support is often handled through the military.

Some aspects of military child support may be dealt with through the military judicial system.
Some aspects of military child support may be dealt with through the military judicial system.

Since the military dispenses income, issues like wage garnishment and enforcement are generally handled through military administration. There are some issues of child support that the military considers civilian issues, however, and will require family court orders for. The military cannot order an initiate to undergo a blood test for paternity, for instance, nor can they determine the fair amount of child support.

Military child support officials can help locate a non-custodial parent who is a member of the military. In order to access this information, the person making the request will need at least the military parent's full name and Social Security number. If a personal delivery of child support orders is required, the military may be able to coordinate with local law enforcement to have an order or summons delivered to a member. Some areas will also allow orders of military child support to be delivered by registered mail, but this may vary in different regions.

It is important to understand when dealing with military child support that service in the military does not remove obligations to pay support. In some cases, refusal to follow an order of child support can even qualify as a military crime. In general, the military officials in charge of child support orders will follow state or regional decisions about child support amount and division, and will help ensure that the money is paid. If a military parent is in the process of retirement, the switch in accounting methods may cause a delay in support payments of one to two months.

If a military parent is refusing to pay court-ordered child support voluntarily, it may be necessary to get attorneys and the military involved. In the United States, all matters of military child support are handled through the Defense Finance and Accounting Services Department. For information on who to contact directly, try speaking to a family court clerk or looking online for the relevant forms and procedural details. Enforcement of health insurance coverage is generally handled through the commanding officer of the unit in which the military parent serves.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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