Top Questions Concerning Child Support and Military Personnel

Top Questions Concerning Child Support and Military Personnel

Child support is a critical aspect of Family Law. Thousands of military personnel and their families reside in California, so it is essential to understand how child support orders affect service members and their families in the state. Certified Family Law Specialist Judy L. Burger addresses some of the most common questions concerning child support and military personnel.

Child Support and the Military FAQ

Every situation is different, so you need to consult with Family Law Attorney Judy Burger when questions or issues arise about child support and service members. Here are some basics to know about child support and military personnel.

  1. How is child support calculated for military personnel?

In California, child support is calculated based on several factors, including each parent’s income, time spent with the child, and other expenses. However, there are additional considerations for service members, including allowances and special pay, like Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), hazardous duty pay, sea pay, and more. Although some of these forms of pay are non-taxable, California law includes them all when calculating child support.

  1. Can military personnel be ordered to pay child support even if they are stationed overseas?

Yes. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) protects active-duty military personnel from legal action, including child support proceedings, while on active duty. However, this protection does not apply to service members who are not on active duty or who are in arrears in their child support payments.

  1. Can military personnel be held in contempt of court for failure to pay child support?

Yes. Failure to pay child support can result in serious consequences, including fines, imprisonment, and loss of security clearance. It is essential to keep up with child support payments, even if stationed overseas or on active duty.

  1. Can military personnel modify child support orders?

Yes, military personnel can modify support orders based on a change in circumstances, such as a change in income or a change in the custody arrangement. However, it is essential to follow the proper legal procedures for modifying support orders to avoid potential legal consequences. The Family Court generally grants expedited hearings for service members who receive deployment orders and need to address child support or custody order modifications.

  1. What happens to child support payments if service members are deployed or transferred?

If soldiers, sailors, airmen, or marines are deployed or transferred, child support payments must continue to be made. However, there are legal provisions that allow for modifications to child support orders in these circumstances. It is crucial to contact experienced Family Law Attorney Judy Burger to help you navigate the legal process.

Get Help from a California Child Support Lawyer

Child support can be a complicated issue, especially for military families. It is essential to understand the legal requirements and protections afforded to military personnel. California Family Code §3047 provides guidance for many issues that can arise when a military service member faces mobilization, deployment, or a temporary assignment that takes them outside the state or country and causes complications with following court-ordered support or custody agreements.

Attorney Judy Burger can provide guidance and support to ensure that child support obligations are met and that the best interests of the child are protected. Child custody and support issues are already challenging, and the pressure of unexpected changes due to military service adds even more complexity. Get the help you need in California from The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger. We have eight offices to serve you.

Military Divorces March to the Beat of a Different Drummer

Military Divorces March to the Beat of a Different Drummer

Divorce is hard enough for most people. However, when one – or both – of the parties serve in the military, the process may feel more like a 20-mile hike with full pack than a court proceeding. While military divorces do require a few extra steps, it’s usually possible to get over any obstacles that arise.

Residency Requirements and Military Divorces

In a California divorce, at least one party must meet the following conditions regarding residency:

  • Must have lived in California for the last six months, AND
  • Must have lived in the county where you plan to file for at least the past three months.

A military divorce can be filed in California if:

  • The service member’s legal residence is California; or
  • The spouse’s legal residence is California; or
  • The military member is stationed in California.

As with any divorce, the person who wants the divorce can file for legal separation if he or she does not meet the residency requirements.

Basic Issues in a Military Divorces

Branches of the military handle certain issues differently for servicemembers than civilians. For example, a divorced spouse may be able to use base housing in some circumstances. Benefits, including health care, may still be offered to some divorced spouses. Other benefits like commissary and exchange privileges may be appropriate depending on the length of the marriage and other factors.

Divorce is a civil matter handled by civil courts. However, active duty service members may be able to stop or delay an action taken in a divorce.

A Combination of State, Federal, and Military Law

California divorce laws govern much of the divorce proceeding. However, other laws relate to military divorces:

  • Service Member’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA). This law protects active-duty military personnel and their families from certain legal actions. For example, permanent custody orders may not be entered against service members who are deployed or otherwise unavailable because of military service.
  • Uniform Services Former Spouse Protection Act. This law relates to the division of military retired pay. Child support and spousal support are also addressed.

All Divorces Are Not Created Equal

To get through your military divorce, find an attorney with a deep understanding of California divorce law and military divorce procedures.

To discuss how to handle military divorce issues, please call us at 415-293-8314. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger assist clients in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin County, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, San Jose, Gold River (Sacramento), and surrounding communities.

Military Couples Divorcing More Often Than Civilians

Military Divorces on the Rise
Military Divorces on the Rise
Our nation’s tumultuous economy and the high-tempo deployment environment are both likely factors influencing the growing divorce rate among military couples in the last ten years.  More military marriages ended in divorce in 2011 than civilian marriages.  Longer and more frequent deployments put an enormous strain on families, and the added stress in the marital relationship is often more than either spouse can handle. California is home to a large part of the U.S. military, with twenty-one major military installations, and over two hundred thousand total military personnel assigned to locations within our state, so many military divorces take place here. Both spouses should be aware that divorced military spouses may be entitled to a portion of the member’s retirement pay, Commissary and Base Exchange privileges, Survivor Benefit Plan, and even healthcare coverage.  If you are on either side of the equation – military member or non-member – be sure your rights and future benefits are protected.  Contact us to discuss your situation and let us help you fight for the best outcome possible. At the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger, we will persistently pursue the best outcome possible for you in your divorce proceedings. Judy L. Burger is known for her aggressive representation of clients in high conflict cases in and around the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento areas.  If you are a spouse facing divorce, call us today to learn more about how we can help.  Call(415)293-8314 in the San Francisco Bay area or (916)631-1935 in the Sacramento area, or contact us online via our confidential inquiry form.