Child Support Guidelines for Military Parents

Active military personnel and veterans who are non-married parents are required to provide child support for children still legally considered minors. The rules that apply to military personnel are not meant to override existing North Carolina child support guidelines. The purpose of these added regulations is to ensure financial obligations are met even if a legal agreement has not been worked out.

If a military service member and the child’s other parent have a written support agreement in place, then the military parent is required to abide by the terms of this agreement. Military child support regulations become applicable when there is no formal support agreement in place. During this interim period, which lasts until legal details can be finalized, Child Support Services uses what’s referred to as a voluntary support agreement.

Interim child support amounts are sometimes lower than what would be required based on state guidelines. In the absence of an interim measure, however, support payments owed by a military spouse are mainly based on income. Calculations may be based on a military pay chart and other sources of income, such as allowances for housing and/or subsistence or separate rations. A military parent may also be responsible for health insurance payments and childcare expenses. The preferred payment method is determined by the paying service member and the other parent. For times of deployment, automatic deductions from military pay can be set up.

If payments aren’t being made, the receiving parent can contact the military parent’s commanding officer to seek non-judicial punishments. Once a formal custody agreement has been worked out, a family law attorney can explore additional legal options if support payments are incomplete, late, or not being made at all. In extreme situations, failure to meet support obligations could result in a dismissal from the military.

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