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Can an active duty military spouse be sued for child support?

Yes, he or she can. As mentioned, SCRA doesn’t provide a blanket immunity and a trial court can stay (or hold off) the litigation if military service would have a material effect on his or her ability to defend the litigation, including, in this case, a child support action. All military members have a duty to support their children and their spouses, so their pay may be garnished to insure the payment of proper support. The military has its own rules for conduct, but military personnel are subject to the same civil and criminal laws as civilians.

A military spouse can be sued for child support while he or she is in service, but this is a problematic area for many courts. On the one hand, they agree that child support and paternity actions are extremely important; on the other hand, they recognize that military parents should be present to litigate and argue the issues.

An ex-husband cannot expect an indefinite stay of proceedings here. He should be prepared to present a reasonable timetable to resolve the issues. Basically, he should provide sufficient information to allow the appropriate court to decide whether there would be prejudice either to stay the litigation or allow it to go forward. He should also provide a reasonable timetable in which he will resolve the action.