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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:
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.
Florida is a no-fault divorce state. The only requirements to getting a Florida divorce is that the marriage is irretrievably broken and that the filing spouse meets the residency requirements. The only other ground for divorce in Florida besides the marriage being irretrievably broken is mental incapacity of one of the spouses.
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