Military Child Support and Enforcement

Graham Family Law > Family Law > Texas Military Family Lawyer > Military Child Support and Enforcement

Military families face substantial challenges when determining child support. Such challenges exist because the pay is complicated and often in a state of flux based on many variables. By working with an experienced attorney at Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC, in San Antonio, you can protect your interests and arrive at fair and accurate calculations for child support.


To calculate military child support, your lawyer will use the Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), the Military Pay Chart and the income tax return.

A military service member’s pay consists of the following:

  • Base salary: Base salary is the largest percentage of total pay and is determined by rank and number of years served in the military.
  • Basic Housing Allowance (BAH): This falls into different categories based on the service member’s circumstances including overseas duty or reservist active duty. This type of BAH is not influenced by geographic location and is based only on rank. Annual military pay charts show this type of BAH. In contrast, a permanent duty service member residing in the United States, but not in government housing, receives a BAH either with or without dependents calculated into the amount.
  • Basic allowance for Subsistence (BAS) or Separation Rations (Sep Rats): This is paid to offset the cost of meals.
  • Special skill pay: This is additional pay for jobs that involve imminent danger or hardship. Examples of jobs requiring special skills include pilots, parachutists, divers, medical professionals, dentists and nuclear trained specialists. Typically, special skills pay is taxable.
  • Bonuses: Enlistment and reenlistment are two types of bonuses.

All the above sources of income are subject to child support calculations. However, allowances are not reported as income and, therefore, are not reflected on federal income tax returns. Also, of particular note, when a military member serves in a combat zone, pay earned during that time does not count as taxable income but is still a basis for child support. Needless to say, it is important to work with a lawyer who understands how military pay works to ensure fair child support payments.


Noncompliance with child support orders is subject to enforcement. If a parent fails to pay child support as ordered, one of our family law attorneys can assist you with enforcement actions.

Enforcement actions your attorney can take based on court orders include:

  • Garnishment: Under the United States Code (USC), garnishment is an authorization of a soldier’s pay or military retired pay that can be garnished to meet child support obligations.
  • Involuntary Allotment: If no garnishment order exists, the USC allows an involuntary allotment from an active duty soldier’s pay and allowances as a way of enforcing court-ordered child support.


Call 210-308-6448 for more information from an experienced lawyer.


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