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How is military pay considered when calculating child support?

Military pay is different, but not complicated. It consists of basic pay, which is based upon military rank or grade, and perhaps the housing allowance (known as Basic Allowance for Housing), the food allowance (Basic Allowance for Subsistence; also called “Separate Rations”), any special skill pay (such as flight pay for pilots), and any bonuses (a re-enlistment bonus, for example). The word perhaps is used because not all service members receive a housing allowance or a special pay. A spouse should be aware that these housing allowances are tax-free, so if a state bases its child support guidelines on gross pay, a spouse should be sure to adjust the military pay upward to compensate for the missing taxes.

Both pay and all allowances are used to calculate child support.

In a divorce, the civilian spouse should be sure to obtain copies of her military spouse’s monthly pay statements, which will have all pay and allowances itemized. The pay statements are called Leave and Earnings Statements, or LESs.