In a military divorce, the two spouses want to see the servicemember’s LES. A LES is the Leave and Earnings Statement. It is a monthly record given to members of the United States military that documents their pay and leave status on a monthly basis.
A LES is a military pay stub that shows not only earning and deductions but also lists any incentive or special pay, such as combat pay, aviation career incentive pay, or variable special pay for medical/dental officers as well as nontaxable benefits, such as basic allowance for subsistence (BAS) and basic allowance for housing (BAH).
The LES is a shorthand profile of servicemember’s military benefits that must be considered in a divorce. For example, the servicemember paying child support may receive the BAH at the “with dependents” rate regardless of whether or not his or her children reside with that servicemember. BAS and BAH are cash benefits that should be included in a financial affidavit for purposes of calculating child support.
A military lawyer can use a LES to advise his or her client about their financial situation both before and after a divorce.
At one time, military personnel received paper LES documents, but now the servicemember almost always retrieves his or her LES from an online system called MyPay from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), an agency of the United States Department of Defense. DFAS provides finance and accounting services for the civilian and military members of the Defense Department.