Under Texas law, the noncustodial parent generally pays the entire child support obligation, based mainly on income, without any deductions for the custodial parent’s income or for time spent with the noncustodial parent – not that this would generally figure into the child support payment for an active duty servicemember.
What this means for military personnel is that periods of combat service, submarine duty, or other pay enhancements can result in alarmingly high child support payments. If you’ve been unpleasantly surprised at the amount of child support withheld from your pay after a period of intense or hazardous deployment, contact an experienced military child support attorney by calling me in El Paso.
All of the nontaxable allowances and benefits that appear on your Leave and Earnings Statement – basic allowance for housing (BAH), subsistence pay (BAS), overseas pay, specialty pay, combat zone exclusions, submarine pay, and the like – are figured into your income for the purposes of child support. Because the higher the income, the higher the child support obligation, this can cause serious problems for military noncustodial parents, especially if they assumed that the tax-free nature of these allowances and benefits would also exempt them from the child support calculations under the Texas Child Support Guidelines.
I can help you recalculate your child support payments based on your LES and tax returns over a period of a year or more to show that a sudden spike in your income is not the most accurate basis for determining your obligation. Further complicating the calculations are the different levels of BAH and the fluctuations in pay that can result from promotions or pay increases within a pay grade.
I represent uniformed service personnel from all over the world who are facing Texas child support problems. For a free consultation about your case, contact an experienced military child support attorney at the Law Office of Douglas C. Smith.