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Seeking child support from a member of the military

When marriages end, it is often a difficult situation for all those involved. One of the most contentious areas of family law is child support. In cases where one of the spouses is a member of the military, the military cannot directly force a service member to pay child support. Ex-spouses of soldiers are required to secure court orders for this to happen. Custodial parents in Maryland may also need a child support decree in order to receive financial assistance.

Each branch of the military has different ranks of income and child support rules. When soldiers have been ordered by the court to pay support for their dependents and fail to do so, punishments can ensue. The military can garnish wages from service members for failure to follow a court decree to pay child support to their families. Other types of unspecified punishments can also be sanctioned by the soldier's commander.

When a soldier cannot appear in court due to deployment or an overseas assignment, the court proceedings are delayed by a minimum of 90 days. If the spouse does not know where the service member has been stationed, a special military locator service can be authorized. Once the soldier has been located, the spouse can write the commander regarding the divorce proceedings or the failure to receive the court-ordered support.

Spouses of soldiers who are not receiving an adequate amount of child support may have many questions and concerns regarding their potential legal options. It may be beneficial to seek legal counsel for this predicament. An experienced attorney in Maryland can fight to secure adequate support, and can push to have the military assist in upholding the soldier's obligations.

Source:, "Military Divorce and Separation", Rod Powers Updated, March 5, 2018

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