How do children of service members obtain child support?
In serving their country, members of the military face unique challenges that most civilians never face. When it comes to raising families, the challenges are often compounded by long deployments, lower pay than what service members might earn as civilian workers and less time to spend with spouses and children. This is just as true for the Marine sergeant in North Carolina as it is for the Navy petty officer in California.
Among the biggest issues facing military parents are divorce, separation and child support. Most parents in the service know the importance of providing for their children’s needs by paying child support. So does the Pentagon. For this reason, since 1975 members of all branches of the military have been able to turn to the Child Support Program — or IV-D Program — for help in obtaining regular child-support payments. The military’s child-support program is regulated by the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement and works in cooperation with child-support agencies in every state.
The Child Support Program for military families is designed not only to recover welfare costs but also to offer services such as helping parents reach agreement on child-support orders. It also employs automated systems that determine when and if child-support payments are missed.
In the case of missing payments, the program will inform the noncustodial service member before a state’s child support agency steps in to enforce payment. The program also can help the noncustodial parent get a modified child-support order that best meets the person’s ability to pay for a child’s financial needs.
The IV-D Child Support Program has helped many families and children obtain child-support payments even though the other parent is deployed. It reassures military families that their children are financially provided for while they are out serving their country.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “A Handbook for Military Families,” Accessed on Nov. 6, 2014