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Calculating Military Divorce Child Support

Calculating a military parent’s income can be rather complex, as unique child support issues arise in Florida military divorces. Income for Florida child support issues is broader compared to what the IRS considers income.

What factors are included in a military divorce’s child support calculation?

BAS and BAH

Military parents are often surprised to learn that Florida includes their Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) when calculating for child support. BAH and BAS are nontaxable for the IRS, but are included in child support calculations.

Florida law allows for food and housing in child support calculations. The nonmilitary parent’s counsel should be aware of BAH and BAS benefits and value these benefits using any of these two methods:

  • Hiring a Real Estate Appraiser
    Counsel of the nonmilitary parent may want to hire a real estate appraiser to appraise the military housing and come up with a fair value for the monthly rent of the property and utilities.
  • Calculating the BAS/BAH the military parent foregoes
    A military attorney for the nonmilitary parent may also just calculate what the BAS/BAH would have been if the military parent had lived off base.
Per Diem

A military parent gets per-diem pay, or allowance “per day” to cover various costs. This can also be included in child support calculations, as long as the per diem reduces the recipient’s living expenses.

VA Disability Benefits and Support

When determining military child support, VA disability benefits are also included as child support income. The nonmilitary spouse, however, is not entitled to these benefits during the distribution of assets in a Florida military divorce case.

Hazard and Combat Zone Pay

A military parent’s gross income may increase due to his or her hazard pay and combat zone pay. A military parent’s entire combat pay is not subject to federal income tax. This increased pay is subject to a higher child support obligation, especially if there is a corresponding change in time-sharing due to the military parent’s deployment.

Calculating Military Child Support is Complex

Military divorces and child support calculations and complex and present various unique issues. It is important to seek legal counsel to ensure that your rights are protected and that child support computations are fair.


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When the Florida court decides on the issue of child custody and visitation, the gender of the parents is not considered. For example, a mother will not automatically receive custody of the children just because she is the mother. The judge must only consider what is in the best interests of the child. Florida divorce law requires Shared Parental Responsibility. This means that even though the child may live with one parent, the other parent has equal say in raising the child. Each party must be consulted on the education, health, religion, and discipline of the child. And, if the parties cannot agree on these important issues, the judge will make the decisions.
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