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Wage Garnishment and the Military

There are many unique aspects of military family law - wage garnishment for support obligations included. When there is a court order for spousal or child support, military pay may be garnished to satisfy those obligations, to include military retirement and VA disability payments. There are limitations on how much may be garnished from military pay to ensure that a servicemember still has funds from which to pay living expenses.

Garnishing Military Pay

Military pay can be garnished for both child support or spousal maintenance, AKA alimony. Generally only base pay is subject to garnishment. Additionally, there are also certain exclusions from the pay subject to garnishment, such as a debt to the United States, taxes, health insurance premiums, life insurance premiums, and normal retirement contributions. A former spouse or parent seeking wage garnishment can fax a Notice To Withhold Income to The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) at (877) 622-5930, as long as the fax contains the member’s social security number. The request can also be mailed to:

DFAS Garnishment Law Directorate
P.O. Box 998002
Cleveland OH 44199-8002

To garnish income for child support or spousal maintenance from a retired member, a request can be made by sending DFAS a certified copy of the support order and a DD Form 2293, Application for Former Spouse Payments from Retired Pay.

Garnishing VA Disability Payments

Some disability payments to veterans can be garnished. If a veteran is eligible to receive military retired pay and waives a portion of it in return for VA Disability payments, those payments are subject to garnishment for child support and maintenance. However, payments to a member without a VA waiver are not subject to garnishment. For example, a veteran who did not retire, or a retiree with a disability rating of 50% or higher could fall into the latter category. To arrange for garnishment if disability pay, contact the applicable VA Regional Office.

Garnishment Limitations

Garnishment is limited depending on the number and type of dependents the member is supporting, and whether the member is in arrears on support. Pay garnishment is limited to:

  • 50% if the member is providing more than half of the support to other dependents not covered by the court order.
  • 55% if the member is providing more than half of the support to other dependents not covered by the order, but is in arrears on support.
  • 60% if the member is not providing more than half of the support to other dependents not covered by the court order.
  • 65% if the servicemember is not providing more than half of the support to other dependents not covered by the court order, but is in arrears on support.
Janko Law - Is It Time for a Change?

Divorce and family law matters are difficult to navigate alone. With offices in Colorado Springs and Denver, we can guide you through the experience by handling pleading and motion preparation and filing, negotiation, mediation, and court proceedings from start to finish. This allows you to focus on moving forward to a better future rather than on trying to figure out how the overly complex court system works. Remember that change often creates new opportunity and a better future. Janko Law can help ensure that your best interests and the best interests of your family are protected. Contact us at 720-780-0115 or complete our online form to set up a free thirty-minute informational consultation.

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