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Servicemember Cannot Avoid Duty to Pay Support

Although the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) permits the servicemember to delay court proceedings, there are alternatives to administrative and district court proceedings. All military services have regulations requiring their members to honor court orders and pay child support regardless of the SCRA.

For example, Army Regulation 608-609, establishes interim support requirements that the soldier must meet and AR 608-609, Chapter 1-5 states as follows:
1–5. Management of personal affairs

  1. The Army recognizes the transient nature of military duty. This regulation, however, prohibits the use of a soldier’s military status or assignment to deny financial support to family members or to evade court orders on financial support, child custody and visitation, paternity, and related matters.
  2. Soldiers are required to manage their personal affairs in a manner that does not bring discredit upon themselves or the U. S. Army. This responsibility includes—
    1. Maintaining reasonable contact with family members so that their financial needs and welfare do not become official matters of concern for the Army (see para 2–1).
    2. Conducting themselves in an honorable manner with regard to parental commitments and responsibilities (see chap 2).
    3. Providing adequate financial support to family members (see paras 2–3 through 2–9).
    4. Complying with all court orders (see paras 2–2, 2–4, and 2–11).”

All services have similar provisions and requirements of their servicemembers:

  • Marine Corps: Legal Admin Manual, Chapter 15
  • Navy: 32 CFR Pt 733 2000 CFR Title 232, Volume 5
  • Air Force: FI 36-2906
  • Coast Guard: PERSMAN Chapter 8M