Can My Ex-Husband Stop Child Support If He Has the Kids While I'm Deployed?

By Heather Frances J.D.

If you were in the military at the time of your divorce, it's possible that your original custody and support orders address what happens in the event that you are deployed. If not, you typically have to return to court for new custody and support orders, and your ex-spouse must continue to pay child support until a new order is in place.

Temporary Custody

If a court awarded temporary custody to your ex-spouse during your deployment, the court probably halted his child support payments, too, since he is paying for the day-to-day care of the child. It is very unlikely that he would have full temporary custody and still have to pay child support to you.

Modifying Child Support

When custody needs change because you are being deployed, either you or your ex-spouse can petition the court to modify your existing child support order temporarily to accommodate your deployment. Typically, you can request a modification by filing a motion or petition with the court that issued your last child support order. You -- the deployed parent -- could end up paying child support to your ex in this situation because you no longer have physical custody and are not paying your child’s daily expenses.

Get a free, confidential bankruptcy evaluation. Learn More

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is a federal law providing many protections for military members, including an automatic 90-day stay, or postponement, of civil court proceedings -- including child support hearings -- when the military member cannot be present for court because of military duty. Thus, if your ex-spouse files for a child support modification and you cannot attend a child support or other family law hearing because you are deployed, the court must postpone the hearing at your request for at least 90 days, and the court can extend the stay even longer if it chooses. Additionally, some states have laws specifically addressing child support changes when a military member is deployed.

Child Support Arrears

If you simply give your children to your ex-spouse -- without a court order -- to care for while you are deployed, your existing child support orders remain in effect. If your ex-spouse stops paying child support on his own without court permission, he is technically in arrears and could face penalties for nonpayment. If his payments are made by automatic income withholding from his wages, the withholding will continue until a court order says otherwise.

Get a free, confidential bankruptcy evaluation. Learn More
How to Relinquish Custody for the Purpose of Military Enlistment


Related articles

Remarriage & Custody

Remarriage is usually not a reason for a change in custody unless other factors are involved. Parents naturally move on to new partners after a breakup. The fact that they have a child doesn’t change this. Unless the new relationship affects the child or his relationship with his other parent, courts are not likely to modify custody because of it. Judges are obligated to place custody based on the best interest of the child.

With Temporary Custody of a Minor in Georgia Can I Leave the State and Still Have Custody?

If you have a temporary child custody order, the court may or may not permit you to leave the state of Georgia with your child. However, if you can and do leave with your child, the terms of your custody order would most likely remain unchanged -- at least until such time as a permanent order supersedes it.

What Happens in Court at a Massachusetts Custody Hearing if You Haven't Paid Child Support?

Your failure to pay child support can land you in hot water with a judge, especially with the judge who issued the order. In Massachusetts, a judge has the authority to order you to pay child support, even while your divorce is pending. If you don’t pay as ordered, you can face fines and other punishment. The court may also view your nonpayment as evidence of your parental irresponsibility.

Related articles

What Are the Responsibilities of a Temporary Guardian?

A temporary guardian's job is to provide short-term care for an individual referred to as a ward. Wards may be minor ...

Arizona Teenager Rights in a Divorce

Although most kids don't want to hear it, they have very few rights when their parents divorce – particularly the right ...

Can You Go to Jail for Not Making Child Support Payments?

If you have been ordered to pay child support, perhaps as part of a divorce, then nonpayment can result in stiff ...

Can a Noncustodial Parent Stop Paying Child Support & Gain Sole Custody of His Child?

Divorced parents often battle over child custody arrangements and child support payments, but the courts treat these ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED