Fort Riley, Kansas

 

News

FROM THE INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE - Military spouse seeks financial support advice

By | 1ST INFANTRY DIVISION INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE | December 14, 2015

Dear IG,

I am a military spouse, but I am currently separated. My spouse refuses to provide financial support. My spouse has even gone so far as to state that the paycheck is his, and that the additional entitlements that he receives are meant for him, not our family. I am very concerned, as I have very little money to pay bills, put a roof over my kids’ heads and put food on the table. I know that this is not right, but I do not know how to properly resolve this issue. Please help!

Respectfully,

Concerned Spouse

 

Dear Concerned Spouse,

Many Soldiers think because they are separated, in the process of a divorce, are upset at their spouse or are geographically separated, they do not have to provide finan­cial support. Reasons behind nonsupport range from “my spouse does not deserve my money,” to “he or she makes more money than I do.” Others believe that the Basic Allowance for Housing they receive is their money and they can choose to do with it what they want. None of these are the correct.

As per Army Regula­tion 608-99, Family Sup­port, Child Custody and Paternity, Soldiers do not have the choice of support­ing their family members; it is a regulatory requirement. Commanders are responsible for ensuring compliance with this regulation. The Inspec­tor General’s role in resolving nonsupport of dependents is often misunderstood by family members requesting assistance. Resolution of cases involving nonsupport is a command responsibility. Nonsupport issues are command issues and should always be resolved through the command chan­nels. The IG handles requests for assistance in matters of nonsupport by facilitating contact with the Soldier’s commander, ensuring the commander is fully aware of the nonsupport issue, regula­tory requirements and provid­ing the spouse with the com­mander’s contact information. When conducting inquiries regarding nonsupport issues, commanders are reminded by the IG that AR 608-99, paragraphs 2 through5 and 2 through11 are punitive.

Soldiers and leaders can debate “why should the Soldier have to pay when his or her spouse is the one with the issues, and refuses to put forth the effort to assist in supporting the family?” Leaders should listen and avoid taking sides. Leaders enforce Army Regulation and Policy. AR 608-99 states the Soldier is required to pay a specified percentage of BAH, which is based on the Soldiers pay grade, regardless of what entitlements the Soldier is re­ceiving. If, during the course of the commander’s inquiry, the commander determines that the Soldier refuses to provide financial support to the spouse, the commander has several options. Com­manders can stop a Soldier’s entitlement and recoup the entitlement for periods of nonsupport, according to Joint Federal Travel Regula­tion, Chapter 10, U10106B. Commanders should contact the servicing Staff Judge Ad­vocate or IG office for guid­ance. The commander’s legal adviser will help determine the correct amount of family support for each Soldier’s situation.

Did you know that per AR 608-99 commanders must take actions on Soldiers who fail to comply with regulation or lawful orders based on the regulations? These actions include, but are not limited to, counseling, admonition, letter of reprimand, bar to reenlistment, administrative separation from the service, Article 15 or court-martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Legal assistance can offer the best advice on specific questions and concerns on this matter based on your personal situation.

Commanders and leaders can help Soldiers understand their legal obligations and the penalties for failing to meet them. Commanders must counsel Soldiers in writing on their obligations and follow up to ensure payment is made. Commanders must ensure Sol­diers maintain family support until another form of agree­ment is established such as court-ordered divorce decree or child support. In addition, Commanders must ensure their subordinate leaders are following up appropriately to ensure Soldiers are meeting their financial obligations.

If you have any additional questions, please call the Of­fice of the Inspector General at 785-239-IGIG (4444).

Sincerely,

Fort Riley IG

 

Tag Financial Support