Have you ever tried to read a military member’s pay stub?
It’s a mess. There are a thousand different numbers, and determining actual compensation is difficult.
All of this leads to confusion about what items are counted as income for child support and alimony when military personnel divorce.
When doing military divorces and trying to determine child support and alimony, the most common question we’re asked is whether BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) and BAS (Basic Allowance for Sustenance) apply.
The answer is yes, they do apply when determining child support and alimony.
The reason for this is BAH and BAS are really just income. They’re called different things, but they’re income just like military salary is income.
Caveat Regarding BAH
There is one interesting caveat we need to discuss about BAH.
Depending on rank when someone divorces, BAH can go away completely and the military spouse will be forced to live on base (often in barracks).
If this happens, BAH effectively goes away and we don’t count it toward income.
Why would it not count toward income even though the military spouse is still getting the benefit of housing?
That’s a legitimate question, and here’s the best response I can give: it’s nearly impossible to determine the value of living in a military barracks.
I’m sure there is a way to determine the value, but it would require an expert to determine, and no one wants to take that time or spend the money.
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