Calculating Child Support using BAS and BAH


Yesterday we discussed how BAS and BAH works for military members when it comes to divorce. To demonstrate the Sample Snohomish County Military Child Support Figures, here’s a hypothetical example using a factious Commander Smith. For the purposes of our hypothetical, we’ll need to establish some baseline facts. Commander Smith is an O-5 (CDR) with sixteen years of service serving under Captain Michael Coury at NAVSTA in Everett, WA. Commander Smith is the XO. For the purposes of our hypothetical, we’ll assume that Commander Smith has two children whom are aged 8 and 10. Commander Smith is stationed at Naval Station Everett (NAVSTA) on shore duty getting a bit of a break after four years at sea. Commander Smith’s wife filed for divorce in Snohomish County Superior Court. When Commander Smith’s wife, Sika Smith, filed for divorce she simultaneously noted a motion for temporary orders requesting $2,500 in child support along with $4,000 in spousal maintenance and continued use of the family home that they reside in. Sika is also asking the court to kick him out of the house.


How much Snohomish County child support will Commander Smith have to pay?


Since military pay is dependent upon a variety of factors, we first must determine his pay. This is easy to do if you have an LES, not so easy to do without one. Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to figure out if you are familiar with military pay. CDR Smith wasn’t in the nuke program, isn’t at sea, and isn’t a bubblehead. His wife Sika is a stay at home mom. Commander Smith’s home state is Oklahoma.


Basic Pay – $7,974.00
BAH – $2,319.00
BAS – $246.24
Total – $10,539.24


Tax Withheld: $817.35
Social Security (FICA): 494.39
Medicare (FICA): $115.62
Oklahoma Income Tax: $314
SGLI – $27


Total Deductions: $1,768.36



Net Pay: $8,770.88



Any final Snohomish County Military Child Support figures will be dependent upon the spousal maintenance award that the wife gets from him.  Since his wife is a stay at home, Commander Smith is paying something, the question is what. If he paid nothing it would be $1850. What the wife would get in spousal support depends greatly upon what her actual expenses are. Many attorneys will fudge their clients expenses in order to get their clients more money. I’ve nailed many attorneys on this over the years. Without knowing the expenses, the court will likely subtract the child support off the top of Commander Smith’s net income and then divide that number by two. This means the wife would receive $3,473.94 in spousal maintenance. Now that we know the spousal support number, we can back that figure out of Commander Smith’s income for child support calculation purposes. His final child support payment amount would be $1,119 per month.


In total, Commander Smith would be out the door $4,592.94 ($1,119 plus $3,473.94). Our goal is to make sure he pays less that that.

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