Family Support, Child Custody, and Paternity
- Family Support, Child Custody, and Paternity
- Army Regulation (AR) 608-99, Family Support, Child Custody, and Paternity, sets forth Department of the Army (DA) policy, responsibilities, and procedures on financial support of Family members, child custody and visitation, paternity, and compliance with court orders regarding these and related matters.
- I. Non-Support of Family Members
- Purpose: This section explains how to process an IGAR concerning non-support of Family members. Soldiers have a responsibility to provide adequate financial support to Family members. AR 608-99, Family Support, Child Custody, and Paternity, primarily Chapter 2, outlines these responsibilities and provides interim guidance when Family members do not have an oral agreement in limited circumstances, written support agreement, or court order. This regulation also explains that for the commander to become involved in resolving this matter, a Family member or an authorized repr
esentative of the Family member must complain to the command that the Soldier is failing to provide proper support. In other words, the complainant has the responsibility of communicating non-support problems to the Soldier's commander.
- Commander's Responsibilities
- Army Regulation 608-99, Family Support, Child Custody, and Paternity, prescribes the commander's responsibilities in detail, primarily in Chapters 1 and 3. The commander's actions when presented with a request for Family support include, but are not limited to, reviewing the inquiry, counseling the Soldier, and responding to the complainant within 14 days in writing. Since The Judge Advocate General (TJAG) is the proponent for this regulation, the commander should consult with the SJA prior to responding to ensure that no violations of privacy occur and all obligations per this regulation have been met.
- Take other actions, as appropriate, in enforcing the provisions of this regulation, paragraph 3–10
- Inspector General's Responsibilities
- Inspectors general have a limited role in matters involving Soldier nonsupport of Family members. Resolving nonsupport claims is a command responsibility, and the IG's primary role is to act as an information conduit to the Soldier's immediate commander. The IG must ensure that the Soldier's immediate commander is aware of all complaints, provided copies of documentation, and takes appropriate action. It is AR 608–99, as applicable, that establishes the commander's responsibilities in nonsupport cases. The IG will monitor the situation by confirming that the commander responds to the complainant before closing the case in IGARS.
The Judge Advocate General (TJAG) is the proponent for AR 608–99, so local or servicing SJAs are best suited to answer a complainant's or commander's detailed questions regarding this policy.
- The IG will not
- ♦Offer opinions or be judgmental in the complainant's or the Soldier's presence, become personally involved, or take sides against another Family member.
- ♦Become advocates for either the complainant or the Soldier.
- ♦Determine how much the Soldier "owes" the Family. That matter is strictly for the commander, the legal office, the Soldier, and the Family to resolve. The SJA is the local proponent and the only one authorized to provide definitive interpretations of the regulation. interpretations of the regulation.
- ♦Deal or correspond directly with the Soldier to keep the commander out of the loop.
- ♦Require commanders to provide a copy of their inquiries.
- ♦Gather banking information such as routing and account numbers. Only if the accepting IG office requests assistance with gathering this information on behalf of the deployed Soldier will the IG assist in gathering and forwarding this information. After confirming that the receiving IG office has the information, the IG must delete or destroy the personal account information prior to closing the case. The IG must never retain personal account information in any IG record or enter it into the IGARS database.
- II. Paternity Case
- Purpose: This section explains the process for working Paternity Cases.
- Army Regulation 608-99, Family Support, Child Custody, and Paternity, prescribes the commander's responsibilities in detail, primarily in Chapters 1 and 3, and the Soldier's responsibilities in Chapter 2. The Company or Battalion Commander, as appropriate, will fully investigate every inquiry alleging paternity on the part of a Soldier and provide complete, accurate, and timely information to the individual making the inquiry. The commander should seek legal advice from the servicing SJA office if in doubt as to the requirements or application of his or her requirement. This advice should not come from a legal assistance attorney who advocates the client's interest. The Inspector General will refer the complaint to the commander for action. The commander should respond in writing within 14 days of receiving the complainant's request.
- III. Child Custody
- Purpose: This section explains the process for working Child Custody Complaints.
- Army Regulation 608-99, Family Support, Child Custody, and Paternity, prescribes the commander's responsibilities in detail, primarily in Chapters 1 and 3, and the Soldier's responsibilities in Chapter 2. The Company or Battalion Commander, as appropriate, will fully investigate every inquiry alleging child custody, visitation, or related matters and provide complete, accurate, and timely information to the individual making the Inquiry. The commander should seek legal advice from the servicing SJA office if in doubt regarding the requirements or application of this regulation in a particular case. This advice should not come from a legal assistance attorney who advocates the client's interests. The Inspector General will refer the complaint to the commander for action. The commander should respond in writing within 14 days of receiving the complainant's request.
- Additional Resources for Complainants
- The following agencies might be of assistance to certain Family members in resolving support, paternity, and custody issues.
- - State Offices of Child Support Enforcement: A civilian support structure specifically created by Congress to enforce Family support issues. Each of the 50 States has such an office, with branch offices located in all large cities and also at most county seats. These offices are normally found in the county court house or the local county or State office building -- often collocated with the welfare office. While State laws vary in detail and specific procedures, every State provides child-support collection assistance, normally at no cost to the requesting spouse. Many States also provide assistance for spousal support and alimony. An excellent source of contact information for State Child Support Enforcement Agencies is found at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css.
- - Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA): Allows transfer of enforcement authority of court-ordered support from the State in which the supported spouse resides to the State of the Soldier's duty station by registry of the court decree in the local court of the duty station State. Child Support Enforcement Agencies can assist.
- - State's Welfare Authorities: In cases where the supported spouse is destitute, the State's welfare authorities can, in some cases, also provide for subsidized housing and child care, food stamps, job training, and State monetary aid (paid in large part from Health and Human Services Federal grant money). The State Office of Child Support Enforcement will refer qualifying cases to the State's welfare authorities while still pursuing support from the Soldier.
- - DFAS Garnishments: For information regarding garnishment and involuntary allotments, see the DFAS Web site at http://www.DFAS.mil.
- - Locator Services:
- Army World Wide Locator: The request to ascertain the current duty station and unit assignment of an active-duty Soldier needs to include full name and SSN or date of birth (numerous Soldiers with the same name are often listed). Check for current fees associated for this service. Mail the request to:
- Army World Wide Locator
U.S. Army Enlisted Records and Evaluation Center
8899 E. 56th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46249-5301
- Parent Locator Service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Available to former Soldiers by going through the main State Office of Child Support Enforcement. The Parent Locator Service can access the database of the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, and States such as driver's license records and motor vehicle registries.
- Human Resource Command: Address Army Reserve or Retired Personnel inquiries to:
Human Resource Command
Fort Knox, KY 40122
- National Personnel Records Center (NPRC): NPRC is part of the National Archives and Records Administration. Address former Army personnel (those who have been discharged and have no further Army service obligation or status) inquiries to:
National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138
- State Adjutant General: Address Army National Guard personnel inquiries to the appropriate State Adjutant General.
- Family Support, Child Custody, and Paternity Guidelines
- AR 608-99, sets forth Department of the Army (DA) policy, responsibilities, and procedures on financial support of Family members, child custody and visitation, paternity, and compliance with court orders regarding these and related matters.
- This regulation is designed to improve procedures for enforcing financial support, paternity, and child custody related obligations within the DA. It preempts all other regulations on these matters within the DA. This regulation should not be construed to create any right, benefit, or entitlement, substantive or procedural, enforceable by law or in equity, by a party against the United States, its agencies, its officers, or any other person.
- This regulation will not be construed to create any right to judicial review involving compliance or noncompliance with this regulation by the United States, its agencies, its officers, or any other person.
- Any questions concerning calculating support amounts should be directed tothe FT Carson Leagal Assistance Office.
- Ft Carson Legal Assistance Office: 526-5572/5573, http://www.carson.army.mil/LEGAL/index.html
- the documents below are prvided by the FT Carson SIA Office.
- AR 608-99
Garnishments and Allotments