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How are child support and custody handled in the military?

Child custody battles that involve military members can often be very complicated matters. For the men and women in the armed forces, knowing some basic points about how child support and custody are handled can help as they go through the process.

What court has jurisdiction over the child support and custody case?

The court that has jurisdiction over these cases is usually the court in which the custodial parent and child reside. If the case is a new case, the jurisdiction will likely fall to the court where the child is living or the court where the case was filed. If the case is in conjunction with a divorce, the court handling the divorce will likely handle the child support and custody case.

How is child support handled?

Where there is a military parent involved in the case, there are usually child support payments being made. Each branch of the military has specific guidelines about how much child support service members should pay. Those guidelines come into the picture if there isn't any child support order that has been finalized by he court. If the case is still pending, the service member will likely have to pay the amount that the branch specifies. Child support matters are handled by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, which can garnish payroll deposits of service members.

Any service member who has child support or custody concerns, including those in conjunction with a divorce, should be sure to find out how the jurisdictional court in Florida, as well as their branch of service, will handle these matters.

Source: National Military Family Association, "Custody Child Support," accessed Oct. 07, 2016

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