As a military member, you may be eligible for many different financial benefits. One of these benefits is Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH).
BAH provides financial assistance to military members so they can pay their rent. One of the most misunderstood military BAH rules regards BAH and child support payments. It is quite common that veterans end up confused about military child support laws and calculating child support for military dependents.
BAH Pay & Military Child Support Laws
Military pay and child support work like this:
There are special rules for active duty members who live in the barracks and pay child support. Married members and members with custodial custody of children are considered to “have dependents,” and receive full-rate housing allowance (BAH pay). This is true even if they live temporarily in the barracks, for reasons such as being in basic training, job, school, or unaccompanied overseas assignment), in order to provide sufficient financial support (housing) for their dependents.
However, if a military member does NOT have custody and is paying child support, then they are NOT able to reside in the barracks and receive full-rate BAH.
For the service members in this unique situation, they may be eligible for something called BAH-Differential, also known as BAH-Diff. This is a special program designed exclusively for those individuals paying child support in the military. It is the housing allowance for a service member who is assigned to single-type quarters and who is authorized a BAH solely because they are paying child support.
An individual is not entitled to BAH-Diff if the monthly rate of that child support is less than the BAH-Diff. This specialty BAH pay is determined by the SECDEF and is published annually, increasing each year according to the percentage growth of the military pay raise.
As the BAH-Diff rate changes, you can always find updated rates online.
Frequently Asked Questions About Child Support & Military Pay
Additionally, if two service members share legal custody of children, both members may not receive a housing allowance based on the same dependents. Each parent is authorized BAH according to the with-dependent rate during the time that the child is actually in the parent’s physical custody. To be clear, both parents may NOT receive a housing allowance for the child during the same time period.
The most frequently asked question regarding child support in the military is what to include when calculating total income.
QUESTION: Is BAH included in determining military child support?
ANSWER: Yes, BAH is included when calculating military child support payments. BAH, along with all other forms of pay, has to be included in determining child support payments for military members.
Get More Information
Military child support rates can differ greatly between different individuals, so be sure to speak with your superiors and legal professionals to make sure that you are calculating everything correctly. There can be huge consequences for underpaying child support! Unfortunately, there is no child support calculator for military members, as it must be determined by a legal professional on a case by case basis.
Child support and military pay can be a tricky issue to deal with, so be certain to do your research and inform yourself of all the issues involved, especially because of the legal repercussions possible from making a mistake.
Do you have any questions regarding child support and the military? Ask away in the comments section below and we will try to answer all of your questions as quickly as possible!