If your spouse (or your child’s parent) is on active duty in the military, you may be able to seek support through his or her command. Each service has implemented dependent support guidelines which provide different levels of support. The Navy’s Dependent Support Guidelines provide generous support for dependent spouses and children (which exceed the amount a state court would likely provide in most cases). On the other hand, the Air Force has no dependent support guidelines while the Army and Marine Corps’ dependent support guidelines provide some (but not much) dependent support.
Dependent support through the military is only available if:
(1) there is no state court support order in effect; and
(2) there is no support agreement between the parties.
Military commands are not family courts and defer support issues to the courts. The military’s dependent support guidelines are intended to provide temporary support to a service member’s dependents until the parties are able to resolve the matter by agreement or through the courts. In short, military dependent support is intended to be a stop-gap until the state court with jurisdiction over the matter can decide the issue.