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Calculating child support for service members

During the divorce process, courts tend to seek the best interest of any children involved. To this end, they may require parents to pay child support.

In cases where the payer is in the military, there are unique aspects involved. Particularly in regards to calculating the payment, there are a few key considerations.

Considerations for calculation

The main thing to understand regarding military personel and divorce is that service members must provide for their children. Therefore, if a child is not living with the military parent, a child support payment will be mandatory. Military personnel also must provide childcare. This element is a consideration in determining an appropriate child support amount. The courts also consider several additional factors, such as

  • Payer's income
  • Childcare needs during deployments
  • Daycare payments

Along with the general requirements, there may be specific considerations or support requirements according to the particular branch of the military. With this in mind, it may be beneficial to review the regulations in accordance with the particular military branch.


When determining calculations, the court will require and review specific documentation. The most common documents include

  • Earning and leave statements
  • Military pay chart
  • Tax chart from the Attorney General

It is important that parties provide these documents with current and complete information. They should also keep copies of all documents they submitted.


Different states have their own ways of calculating child support payments. This helps to create a uniformed calculation system across the board. However, it is important to note that the calculation itself is not the final determination; judges utilize the calculator as a base but can make adjustments as needed, considering any additional information or needs for the particular case.

Understanding the details of child support payments as a military member can aid in determining the best course of action. It may also be helpful to review the applicable laws in full.

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