Guidelines for Army Regulation 608-99
1. Q. WHAT IS AR 608-99?
Army Regulation 608-99, 13 Nov 2020, explains the Department of the Army's policy, guidance and procedures concerning financial support of family members, paternity claims, and paternity-related adoption proceedings.
2. WHAT IS A SOLDIER'S OBLIGATION UNDER THE REGULATION?
A soldier's obligation includes: a) Providing adequate and continuous support for family members. b) Complying with separation agreements, court orders and judicial orders or decrees. c) Meeting financial obligations promptly.
3. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ENSURING THAT SOLDIERS ARE INFORMED OF THE ARMY POLICY ON SUPPORT OF FAMILY MEMBERS AND ENFORCING IT?
Commanders are responsible for ensuring that soldiers know about the policy and comply.
4. IF A SOLDIER FAILS TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS ABOVE, WHAT CAN THE COMMANDER DO?
The commander can consider: a) Making it a part of the soldier's permanent record. b) Denial of reenlistment. c) Punitive or other administrative action including elimination from the service. d) A criminal charge under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
5. IF THE SOLDIER FAILS TO MEET THE REGULATION’S REQUIREMENTS, CAN THE ARMY DEDUCT MONEY FROM THE SOLDIER'S PAY?
No. The Army has no legal authority to deduct money from a soldier's pay without his consent unless garnishment or involuntary allotment has been ordered by a civilian court.
6. HOW DOES THE COMMANDER DETERMINE ADEQUATE SUPPORT FOR FAMILY MEMBERS?
The Army will require that soldiers comply with any court-ordered support. In the absence of a court order, the Army prefers that a separated soldier and spouse enter into a written separation agreement that specifies an agreed-upon level of support.
7. IN THE ABSENCE OF A COURT ORDER OR AGREEMENT, HOW IS ADEQUATE SUPPORT FOR FAMILY MEMBERS DETERMINED?
In the absence of a court order or written agreement, and until such an order or agreement is obtained, the Army has established minimum interim support measures for single and multiple family units. This support is payable on the first day of every month for the previous month. This support must also be pro-rated if the soldier is required to pay support for a partial month. The payment should be made by allotment or direct deposit to ensure it is paid in a timely manner, but it may also be paid by money order or check. Any such money order or check that is mailed must be mailed directly to the recipient and must be post-marked no later than the first day of the month. Save copies of all checks and receipts!
8. IF I AM THE SPOUSE OF A SOLDIER IN A SINGLE-FAMILY UNIT [TWO SPOUSES AND CHILD(REN)] AND LIVING OFF-POST, WHAT IS THE MINIMUM SUPPORT THAT I SHOULD RECEIVE?
The soldier will provide support in an amount equal to his/her Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) entitlement at the "with dependents" rate as found in the “Non-Locality BAH” chart. (This is also known as BAH Reserve Component/Transit.) This rate is a standard rate the Army determines regardless of where the soldier resides. The support amount may be reduced by a pro rata amount depending on the total number of family members supported. Go to: https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/pdcFiles.cfm?dir=/Allowances/Non-Locality_BAH/
9. IF I AM THE SPOUSE OF A SOLDIER IN A SINGLE-FAMILY UNIT [TWO SPOUSES AND CHILD(REN)] AND LIVING ON-POST, WHAT IS THE MINIMUM SUPPORT THAT I SHOULD RECEIVE?
In the absence of a court order, the soldier is not required to provide additional financial support to their spouse living on-post, except as otherwise required in AR 608-99 paragraph 2-6f (enhanced interim financial support for spouses). Enhanced interim financial support (EIFS) is temporary and designed to provide for sustenance and additional necessary expenses that initially arise when the soldier and spouse separate. For those spouses residing in a location subject to the jurisdiction of a state court able to order financial support, the soldier will make a one-time transitional support payment in conjunction with the first 30 days of interim support provided pursuant to AR 608-99, paragraphs 2–6d or 2–6e.
10. WHAT HAPPENS IF THE SUPPORTED FAMILY MEMBERS MOVE OFF-POST?
When the supported family members move off post, support will be provided in an amount equal to Non-Locality BAH at the "with dependents" rate. This is true even if the quarters were not properly cleared and even if the soldier is not receiving BAH.
11. IF THE SOLDIER'S RANK INCREASES AND THAT RESULTS IN AN INCREASED AMOUNT FOR BAH, WILL I RECEIVE AN INCREASE IN SUPPORT?
Yes. If the BAH entitlements increase, so should your payments, unless there is an intervening order of a court, mutual agreement, or other life event. Such an event might be divorce or an obligation of the soldier to support another family member.
12. WHAT IS ENHANCED INTERIM FAMILY SUPPORT (EIFS)?
Enhanced interim family support is temporary and designed to provide for sustenance and additional necessary expenses that initially arise when the soldier and spouse separate, or when the time to obtain a court order is prolonged because of a lack of access to appropriate courts of competent jurisdiction. Enhanced interim financial support for spouses will be provided by the soldier in addition to the interim support required (See paragraph 8 above). Enhanced interim financial support payments will not be made to spouses who are servicemembers of any component while serving on active duty. Enhanced interim financial support payments will be made in an amount equal to 25% of the Non-Locality BAH – WITH for the first 30 days for spouses residing in a location subject to the jurisdiction of a state court able to order financial support. For all other spouses, the soldier will make this enhanced payment for the time that the soldier is paying support per paragraph 8 above, and for the period of time that the spouse does not have access to a state court with jurisdiction to order spousal support.
13. WHEN A SOLDIER HAS SEPARATED AND REMARRIED AND HAS AN OBLIGATION TO SUPPORT MULTIPLE FAMILY UNITS (2 FAMILIES OR SETS OF DEPENDENTS) THAT LIVE OFF POST, HOW IS THE AMOUNT OF SUPPORT DETERMINED?
A soldier will provide financial support for each family unit and family member in the following manner:
(a) Family members covered by court orders will be provided financial support in accordance with those court orders.
(b) Family members covered by financial support agreements will be provided financial support according to those agreements.
(c) Family members residing in government family housing who are not covered by either a court order or a financial support agreement will not be provided additional financial support unless required to provide enhanced interim family support.
(d) Each family member not residing in government family housing and who is not covered by a court order or a financial support agreement will be provided a pro-rata share of Non-Locality BAH – WITH.
14. IF MY SPOUSE AND I ARE BOTH SERVICEMEMBERS, WE HAVE NO CHILDREN TOGETHER, AND THERE IS NO COURT ORDER OR SEPARATION AGREEMENT, CAN I GET MINIMUM SUPPORT UNDER THE NEW GUIDELINES? No. Any Army servicemember is not required to provide a minimum amount of support to a spouse on active duty in the armed services.
15. (DUAL MILITARY COUPLE) IF I AM A SOLDIER AND I HAVE CUSTODY OF OUR CHILDREN AND LIVE OFF-POST, WILL I RECEIVE A MINIMUM AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR CHILD SUPPORT FROM MY SOLDIER SPOUSE?
Yes. A soldier, whether or not receiving BAH based on the marriage to another soldier, will pay, at a minimum, his or her own BAH-DIFF rate to the soldier having custody of the biological or adopted child(ren) of that marriage if the family is residing off post.
16. (DUAL MILITARY COUPLE) WHAT IF THE CHILDREN ARE LIVING IN GOVERNMENT HOUSING (ON-POST)?
In the absence of a court order or written agreement to the contrary, if the children are living in government housing, then no support is required.
17. CAN THE AMOUNTS OF SUPPORT PROVIDED BY AR 608-99 BE INCREASED? Yes. These guidelines were established to ensure that some support is received for the family members while you and your spouse obtain a separation agreement, court order, or judicial decree stating the proper amount of support to be paid by the soldier. Once an agreement, court order or decree is obtained, it is the controlling document.
18. ARE IN-KIND PAYMENTS ACCEPTABLE FOR SUPPORT UNDER AR 608-99?
AR 608-99, paragraph 2-9, allows for the soldier to directly pay non-government housing expenses on behalf of family members if the family members are living in that home. Non-government housing expenses are limited to (1) rent, (2) principal and interest payments due on any outstanding loan secured on the non-government housing and the real property taxes and property insurance due under an escrow agreement covering the same property, and (3) essential utilities such as gas, electricity, and water. Non-government housing expenses do NOT include telephone and cable television charges, or any other charges for which the soldier is not legally responsible by reason of contract, lease, or loan agreement. Absent a court order or written agreement to the contrary, the soldier cannot use any other bills or financial obligations, such as car payments or insurance, to reduce his support obligation under AR 608-99.
19. ARE IN-KIND PAYMENTS ACCEPTABLE TO PAY THE ONE-TIME ENHANCED INTERIM FAMILY SUPPORT PAYMENT?
No. In-kind payments cannot be used to pay enhanced interim family support. This must be paid with a money payment.
20. CAN A SOLDIER BE EXCUSED FROM THE REGULATORY SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS UNDER AR 608-99?
Yes, a battalion commander or a Special Court-Martial Convening Authority (usually your brigade-level commander) can excuse a soldier from this support requirement under extremely limited circumstances. Before excusing a soldier from this requirement, the commander's legal advisor must first review the action. Some of the reasons for excusal of a soldier's support requirement are: (1) the soldier has supported the spouse for 18 months after separation (but note that this provision for excusal does not apply to child support), (2) the income of the spouse exceeds the income of the soldier, (3) the soldier is a victim of substantiated spouse abuse, (4) the spouse is incarcerated, (5) a court issued an order without jurisdiction to do so, (6) a court order does not require financial support, or (7) the child(ren) resides with someone who is not the lawful custodian. An excusal from support requirements under AR 608-99 does not excuse a soldier from following valid court orders.
21. Q. WHAT IF I HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS OR SPECIFIC PROBLEMS I WANT HELP IN SOLVING?
Please consult a legal assistance attorney ( https://legalassistance.law.af.mil/ ) or private attorney of your choice as soon as possible. Your lawyer can answer the many questions and help you to make a fair and intelligent decision about your choices, options and alternatives.
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