Responding to a Request for Dependent Support in Bethesda, Part II

Where there are civilian courts available to determine support and the service member has not evaded service of process, then the support may be discontinued after 18 months.  If the service member has been providing support without a court order to the spouse for 18 months, a battalion commander is authorized to release a soldier from the support requirement to his or her spouse, but not from the requirement to provide financial support to the children from that marriage. “This does not give the battalion commander authority to release a soldier from the requirement to provide support required by a court order or a written financial support agreement.” (AR 608.99(7).)

The dependent support required for a child may be waived by the battalion commander (in the absence of a court order) if, “(a) [t]he soldier is the lawful custodian of the child; (b) the child, without the soldier’s consent, is in the custody of another person who is not then the lawful custodian of the child; and (c) the soldier is diligently pursuing legal means to obtain physical custody of the child. (AR608.99(7).)

a.      Marine Corps:  According to Chapter 15 of the Legal Administration Manual (MCO P5800.16A) all Marines must provide financial support to their dependents.  Perhaps in an effort maintain its identity as a separate military service, or perhaps just confuse matters further; the USMC has implemented support guidelines that require two different formulas for determining dependent support.

All marines are required to pay support according to a court order or separation agreement currently in effect.  In the absence of either, the USMC created both a formula and a table for determining the amount of dependent support required of marines.  The support required is the greater of the two methods for calculating dependent support. However, the USMC caps the total dependent support at 1/3 of a marine’s gross monthly pay (pay and allowances before taxes and withholdings). This results in a dependent support amount similar to the Army’s guidelines. 

To determine dependent support under the USMC guidelines, compare the amount in the center column (the chart) and the percent of BAH and OHA (overseas housing allowance) in the far right column (the formula). The value of a government housing unit (in lieu of BAH) is not counted as part of the Marine’s income.

# of Dependants Entitled to Support | Minimum Amount of Monthly Support per Requesting Family Member | Share of Monthly BAH/OHA per Requesting Family Member

1 | $350.00 | 1/2

2 | $286.00 | 1/3

3 | $233.00 | 1/4

4 | $200.00 | 1/5

5 | $174.00 | 1/6

6 | $152.00 | 1/7