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Child Support in a Military Divorce

There are several aspects of military compensation that are not common among civilian compensation schemes. For example, while civilians often receive paystubs or pay statements reflecting their income, service members receive Leave and Earning Statements (LES). Those who have ever attempted to decipher a LES know that the two are distinctly different. With this being said, it may be challenging to determine a service member’s child support obligation because it is more difficult to determine exactly what should be considered as the gross income of a service member. Georgia law concerning child support sets out specific guidelines regarding which forms of military compensation and allowances are considered gross income for purposes of calculating child support.

Income for a parent who is a member of the United States Armed Forces, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard, Air National Guard, the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will include:

  1. Base pay;
  2. Drill pay;
  3. Basic allowance for subsistence, whether paid directly to the aren’t or received in-kind; and
  4. 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 will 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 reimbursement expenses related to the parent’s assignment to a high cost of living location will not be considered income for the purpose of determining gross income.

O.C.G.A. § 19-5-15(f)(1)(E).

Although these guidelines are helpful in determining which compensation should be included in the calculation, there are many complications that could arise in calculating child support in a military case. It is important to seek the expertise of a Georgia divorce lawyer for your military divorce or military child support matter.