Jack_camp Today’s post is from guest blogger William John Camp of Warner Robins and the law firm of Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson. In my opinion (and in the opinion of many other attorneys in Georgia) John is the premier attorney in Georgia of family law issues related to the military. He has been invited by the Chair of the ABA Military Family Law Committee to draft legislation that would provide greater protection to members of the Armed Forces who are deployed to locations that will interfere with their custody/visitation of their children.  He also worked with the Georgia Child Support Commission and wrote the section on the Amendment that concerns computing Gross Military Income.

Mr. Camp has 22 years of legal experience as an active duty Air Force Staff Judge Advocate to assist military and federal civil service clients in addressing their Family Law matters. Whether it is federal benefits, pensions, child support, or complex custody and visitation matters, Mr. Camp knows first hand the problems faced by members of the Armed Forces and the federal civilian work force when they proceed through a separation or divorce.

His 31 years experience as an attorney is not reserved just for his firm’s military clients. He practices exclusively in Family Law and provides all of his clients with practical and down-to-earth advice when addressing their concerns.  His experience and steady manner brings confidence to a turbulent time in our clients’ lives.

A frequent speaker for the Georgia Institute on Continuing Legal Education and Mercer Law School, Mr. Camp lectures to other attorneys across the State of Georgia on dividing military and federal retirement pensions, international issues on custody and support, and general family law matters.

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In the 2008 Amendments to the Georgia Child Support Guidelines, there has been a significant change in how we compute Gross Income for Members of the Armed Forces.  The effect of the new law is to limit what is included in Gross Monthly Income to be (in most cases) only three components:  (1) Base Pay; (2) Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS); and, Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) at the without dependent rate determined without in any area of assignment variable housing costs.  The Judge or Jury may, however, include Special and Incentive Pay; Family Separation Allowances, and Cost of Living Allowances if it chooses.

The BAH figure that will be used is found in the 2008 Military Pay Tables accessable at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Website: ( http://www.dfas.mil/militarypay/militarypaytables.html).  At page 2 of the 2008 Pay Chart, there is a Table entitled "BAH RC/T" with columns showing the "with dependents" and "without dependents" rates based upon Pay Grade.  The column with the "without dependent rates" is the one that will be used to compute Gross Monthly Income.  This rates in these two columns are the portions of the BAH that does not have "location variable housing costs".  (For Authority, see:  http://www.defenselink.mil/militarypay/pay/bah/02_types.html)

If an attempt will be made to include the Military Member’s Cost of Living Allowances, Family Separation Allowances, Special and Incentive Pay items, etc., the computation of the monthly gross pay becomes much more complicated. 

Military Bonuses are ALWAYS included in computing gross monthly income.  However, only a few military members receive bonuses, and they are typically paid one each year and do not appear in their Military Leave and Earnings Statement.  They would however, appear in the their IRS Forms W-2.