Each branch of the armed forces considers it a duty of service members to provide child support regardless of their marital or custodial status. Federal rules do not conflict with or override state child support rules, but they require servicemembers and veterans in Indiana to pay child support for noncustodial and custodial children. If there is a court order or a written agreement between the parents in place, the servicemember must abide by its terms.

In cases where no order or agreement is in place, federal rules provide guidelines for calculating payments in the interim. The calculation is based primarily on the servicemember parent’s income. The first step is determining the amount of money the person makes. The military pay chart can be useful for getting an estimate with payments included in the leave and earning statement added on. Other income should be included as well. The Basic Allowance for Housing and Basic Allowance for Subsistence or Separate Rations should also be counted toward income.

Once the person’s income has been calculated for a full year, gross monthly income is determined by dividing that figure by 12. The state of Indiana provides guidelines for child support payments, and a servicemember may be required to pay for child care and health insurance. The method of payment is not regulated by the military.

Individuals who have questions about paying child support as military servicemembers might want to consult a lawyer. An attorney who has experience in military divorce cases might be able to help by calculating the likely amounts of child support payments or negotiating the terms of an agreement with the other parent. In divorce cases, a lawyer may help identify assets that the parties hold jointly or argue on behalf of a client during child custody hearings.