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What To Do If Your Soldier Cuts You Off Financially

At least once a week, I receive an email from a spouse whose soldier has cut her off financially leaving her with no way to pay bills or take care of their kids. There are a few things you can do in this situation.

  1. Contact his chain of command. This has varying degrees of success depending on the commanders. Though, most will be willing to help.
  2. If his chain of command is not assisting you, contact the Chaplain for his unit. The Chaplain can often act as a mediator and can help to resolve the situation.
  3. If both of those avenues fail, contact JAG. While they generally cannot assist you in divorce proceedings (not always the case), they can lead you in the right direction

Your soldier has an obligation to continue to support you while you are married as he is receiving allowances for being married and he is certainly obligated to support his children. It is impossible to address every situation to determine what you should get as far as financial support is concerned. Be aware that if you are living on post, that is considered financial support as he is providing you with a place to live.

Be advised that you are not entitled to his entire BAH or to his BAS. Even though most soldiers don’t receive BAS until they are married, they are getting that money because they are no longer eating in the chow hall free of charge. It is not to provide food for the family.

If you find yourself in this situation, follow the above steps. If divorce is imminent, seek out a civilian attorney as soon as possible.

About the author: Stacey is an Army wife of a soldier who joined in 2003. He has since been medically retired but she continues to provide information to Army wives and families to make their adjustment to the Army lifestyle easier. Connect with Stacey: Facebook Twitter Pinterest

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  • jed November 1, 2010, 10:08 pm

    Stacey,
    How many of the wives that write in to you about being cutoff ,
    A) Refused to PCS with their husband?
    B) Spent the entire family resources on frivolous things (clothes) multiple times?
    C) Have no kids with their husband?
    D) Are really lazy selfish creatures, who sleep until noon, are addicted to prescription pain-killers, are jobless, party with god knows who, care more about their own lives than their family.
    Funny it’s always the whining you hear, and run straight to the chain of command when the gravy train is over. Those type of women are found within a hundred meters of any gate, outside any military post. The husband bashing is so 1990.

    • Stacey November 5, 2010, 1:15 pm

      I think some definitely fall into that category. Some I have heard from were never granted command sponsorship (generally for Korea) and many times, it was the fault of the soldier, not the command. I do think there are some who find themselves in this situation who just thought it was going to be a free ride. But I have talked to others who just married a real jerk and has left her and their kids in a horrible situation financially.

      • deborah bell June 2, 2011, 10:25 pm

        My husband recieved bah while on active duty and since retired and never support his wife could he made to repay the army or back pay his wife out of his retirement check

    • Jen November 30, 2010, 2:17 pm

      Jed, I don’t think that this article was written for those who get supported by their husbands. Everyone has their own ways of doing things, but if nothing else, the soldier can set up an allotment and tell the wife “this is what you get for the month, this money goes to everything including groceries, phone bills, etc.” Just as an example. If he/she is NOT taking care of their family (even if they don’t have kids), I think that the soldier is still responsible to make sure bills are paid. If they are in need of extra money or the spouse likes to run up credit cards, by all means, the spouse needs to find a job and take care of their responsibilities as well. Not all of us wives can afford to get a job since the costs outweigh the benefits. Luckily I have a husband who works with me and actually takes care of everything so I don’t have to work and I can stay at home overseas and take care of our child and finish my Bachelors degree in school. There is no need to bash seeing as Stacey is just trying to help those who are unable to get their spouses to cooperate money-wise…maybe the soldier has a spending problem and can’t afford to provide for their family since they gamble it all away or spend it on wants first rather than needs…just take a step back and look at ALL possibilities before ever responding to an article like this again please.

  • megan November 28, 2010, 1:27 am

    hi so i have a few questions my husband was and has been cheating since we first got together, we had a son i am currently homeless and has been for the last 9 months, living on this persons couch to the next, he refuses to give me money help me out with anything i dont know where to start or how, i dont know who to try and get a hold of i dont know anything please someone help me.

    • Stacey November 29, 2010, 4:32 pm

      Contact his command and if they aren’t any assistance, contact the Chaplain and JAG. It’s ridiculous that you and your son are homeless while he’s collecting extra pay for dependents.

    • Jen November 30, 2010, 2:21 pm

      Just a question, why haven’t you put in for divorce or started legal actions? In all honesty, he owes you BAH and child support from the day that you no longer started living with him. His chain of command cannot force him to allow you to live under his roof, and from what I’ve been told, they cannot order him to pay you money unless you already have court orders since you DON’T live with him…this is all from what I’ve been told in the past from finance….take my advice for what it’s worth, but it never hurts to do your own research as well.

    • chelle November 30, 2010, 5:28 pm

      get a good lawyer and contact his command. He is responsible for the child. Depending on what state you file for divorce in determines what you have the right to. It gets tricky, because you left him and he could claim abandonment. He should be out of base housing or have his married BAH taken away since you no longer reside with him, but that usually doesn’t happen until divorce and custody has been settled. He does owe you partial BAH and child support. Good Luck..

  • rayelin November 30, 2010, 1:45 pm

    I actually know of a soldier who is getting used….his wife won’t divorce him and refuses to do anything he wants. But he won’t leave her or do anything against her because she has his young daughter. He gives every dime he makes to her just so he can spend time with his daughter when he is able to visit. She threatens to cut him off completely if he doesn’t do what she wants. And he can’t file for full custody b/c his cycle to deploy is frequent so he wouldn’t be able to be there all the time to care for her.

  • m November 30, 2010, 1:58 pm

    My husband and I are fine together but I do not work i stay home with my son, as we only have one car. He has his bank account that I have NO access to at all and then he made a joint account that HE puts money into for me. I do not have access into his personal account at all whats so ever. He was giving me 300$ a month and now nothing. I asked for Christmas money and he gave me that. But I can’t go and buy food or whatever when ever because he dictates when and how much and if he wants to give me any money at all. We do not have an account together where I can take care of household things. Im not a bad wife or careless with money so I dont understand why I am not aloud to have access to his money. He told me he works for his money and its HIS money to do what he wants. He hasn’t cut me off I dont think but he says when, how much and its up to him. He holds all control over the money. I know many wives who have all access to everything! I have access to nothing! Just a bank card that is to the joint account, that I have drive to atm to view a balance. Suggestions?

  • J. L. Halpin November 30, 2010, 2:14 pm

    Please review the Army Regulations. Here is the link: http://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/pdf/r608_99.pdf

    A Soldier is required to be financially responsible for their family. During seperation a monetary agreement between the husband and wife is set up as an allotment by the Soldier’s commanding officer. A civilian attorney is required for the divorce. All monies will again be through an allotment. This is all in the Regulations – it is up to the spouse/dependent to educate themselves and ensure their rights are preserved.

    Jed, there is a civil remedy for mutual mistakes. It is called divorce.

    • milt February 17, 2011, 12:19 am

      No soliders command can make him set-up an allotment. They can only advise and then give him UCMJ. If that is what a wife wants then she will never get any money. Most women feel that a solider receive BAH for being married. This is in-correct, There are several ways a solider receive BAH. Its not only for being married. Yes, all soliders have a responsiblity to a spouse. Think of it like this, If the solider was not a solider and worked for coke who would you turn to then?????? RIGHT, EXACTLY!!!! The gravy train is over. When you see a solider stop seeing dollar signs.

      On the other hand there are soliders out there that are not doing what they suppose to. Go to the chaplain first cuz the last thing you want is to go to the command and things get ugly. You just might not get all the money you want.

  • Denise Hernandez December 1, 2010, 3:14 pm

    The answer to fix the problem is getting a job and take care of yourself. I dont rely on my husband for anything. I was in the military also for 8 years and established and sense of independency that will never go away. There is absolutely no excuse for anyone to be 100 percent dependent on your spouse when you are completely capable of working. My husband would be worse off without me an I like it that way because he knows that if he leaves tomorrow I will be just fine. I make way more than my husband does and I work full time and soon to go back to school full time in January. I have a two year old and a 5 year old with special needs. I am so sick of women using their kids as excuses when you should use them as reasons to go out and get a job an be able to hold the fort down in case your spouse leaves. Its ridiculous and I honestly dont feel sorry for anyone who is too lazy to go out and get a job. I work 40 hours a week not to include the time I put in as a wife and mother as well. Stop depending on a man to pay your way in life. My mom always said if you want anything out of life you have to go and work for it yourself. Thats advice I have lived by since I joined the Army at 18 years old. Its not easy but whoever promised that anything in life would be?!

  • NDENT January 17, 2011, 1:27 pm

    if you are still married to a soldier but you were separated but not legally, can he received extra money for you if he is deployed? and if so are you entitle to some of the benefits if he still claim you as his wife?

    • Stacey January 19, 2011, 11:10 am

      As long as you are married, he will continue to receive benefits as a married soldier. Technically, he should still be providing financial support to you. I would advise you to speak to JAG if he is not.

      • M'liss February 4, 2011, 1:07 pm

        The soldier can not cut you off. My husband has just done this. He changed the way he checks are being done. So you can call emergency services and they will have you contact Red Cross to help you get money for what you need. I am doing this for rent and things for our child. He is stationed overseas so I cant get in contact with his command but I am doing what needs to be done.

  • Tarah Obaidy February 16, 2011, 9:01 am

    We split up and I want a divorce, I dont know where he was shipped off from, last I heard he was in New York. How Do I find out ??

    • Autumn April 27, 2011, 8:55 am

      You can usually try a post locator if you know his name and what not – or if you have an AKO account you can search in white pages, if he has updated his duty information you will be able to find out where he is and his unit to contact the correct chain of command. There are also some other ways to get a divorce when you dont know where the spouse is such as: publicize in new paper or something – however Im not sure but I imagine there are probably laws that protect service members from this type of situation. Then there is always the old fashioned way of calling around or searching online – I was stationed in NY at drum for 10 years and know many people there, most times you can find someone just by asking around. Good luck

  • Stephanie March 16, 2011, 2:17 pm

    I married a solider 4 years ago. We were in, Ft.Bliss, and the marriage lasted 2 weeks due to him cheating from the wedding night. My spouse kept me from access to anything to drink, I collapsed and ended up in the ER with 8 IV bags. Then it became worse by him not allowing me to drive to even get a job. He wouldn’t even give me any money, but I was literally starving. He had been forced to get a loan to get a few days of food. Then that ran out, and I asked that he at least drives me to get a job, he wouldn’t. Long story short, his command wouldn’t do anything more, family services, Jag and the chaplin said that his only obligation was to provide housing, and nothing more. I spent 20 years as a high ranking military dependent and I knew he was responsible for providing food due to my 30 lbs of weight loss in 3 weeks time. I knew I’d end up dying, The IG did nothing. My brother that had been a Marine told me that since Battalion level of his command did nothing, to take it to the company level, I did and nothing again. Finally I called Brigade, spoke to the Brigade CO and finally had food that day. My case was a very extreme case from him being a jerk, everyone protecting him,and I am sure I made them mad by showing up daily demanding help because I was mad that no one would do anything but something had to be. It took a month of starving but I got something done. I ended up getting a neighbor to lend me money eventually to get home and that was what I did. if you’re ever in such a bad situation or know someone that is, please pass this information along to help them.
    As far as getting BAH, commands and Jag say that a civilian court order won’t work, but it does and Brigade will enforce that as a last recourse. If need be, get your congressman in charge. Unfortunately there’s good spouses and even their bad soldiers they do cover for. I learned that the hard way. Good Luck

  • joe soldier March 20, 2011, 8:07 pm

    How many of you run around on your soldier while he risks his life ?

  • ashley April 20, 2011, 3:56 pm

    Do you get your military ids before or after your husband just out of base training and is there I was to know the steps you take when you husband lives for basic, are there even any please I really need people to talk to my husbands liven in about size weeks and I’m worried idk how to go about anything or what to do I’m confused and lost or and scared I haven’t been apart from him long since we’ve gotten together

  • Autumn April 27, 2011, 9:22 am

    Now I have a question – My EX Husband is active army, we have been divorced for 3 years and our decree states that he is responsible to pay his truck that is joint in my name as I am responsible to pay mine that was joint in his name. I have since traded in my car to get it completely out of his name, yet was never more than 2-3 days late on any payments for the life of the loan. He however has managed to ruin my credit by being 26-49 days late on EVERY payment for the last 23 months. I have the bank calling me multiple times a day from collections and he refuses to do anything about it, and has even told the bank he was being deployed and deleted his contact information. I have contacted his 1SG more than 6 times regarding this issue and they tell me they will look into it but nothing is ever done. I dont understand how a 300/mo truck cannot get paid when he is an E5 w/ 12 years of service and also works a civilian job at night. I have requested to his chain of command that he put the truck on an allotment and they have never responded – Unfortunately the judge stated he must pay but the bank laws say even if he doesnt I am responsible – is there anything I can do to insure that his COC assist me with this? I could swear there was a regulation or something somewhere about paying bills and how a soldier can get in trouble for defaulting too much. Any input would be appreciated.

  • E May 8, 2011, 8:23 am

    Denise – THANK YOU! I couldn’t agree more. I don’t think there is any excuse for any healthy adult not to take care of themselves. Especially when children are involved. If, God forbid, something should happen to the soldier taking care of everything, what would happen then?
    I understand that not every place has an abundance of available jobs. Sometimes a place has a surplus of over qualified candidates, it seems like a B.S. is needed to get a job at the PX, and every other house is running a daycare, but that’s when creativity is needed. Hobbies? Find a way to make them profitable (Etsy, Ebay, instructional videos on YouTube), No Hobbies? Get some! Or better yet, get/build on education.
    Everyone has a value and some way to capitalize on that. Choosing not to do so does not obligate a significant other to stay and put up with it.

  • Heather June 16, 2011, 1:58 am

    Okay so since my husband returned from deployment and moved with his new girlfriend he has refused to pay partial BAH since February, I have contacted his chain of command, who refused to return phone calls, then I contacted IG early May. After finally getting something set up received an order from his commander stating a payment for the back payments and all future payments. Now he has not paid AGAIN as scheduled, when contacted his chain of command they stated they have not heard or seen him in two days, very nonchalant. I then emailed my POC with IG. They are telling me to file a civil suit, when contacting the courts they state that it must be handled by the military. So what do I do? I am medically retired and have never had to deal with such poor leadership! Now before anyone wants to make the comments about getting a job, I was in a bad car accident in March and military doctors have made it clear I can not work until surgery has been done on my shoulder. SO therefor I NEED the pay he is supposed to be giving me. My son and I are on the verge of losing everything and being homeless. So at what point does the military finally step in and say you are responsible?

    • Heather June 17, 2011, 12:46 am

      update: got a call from commander and IG today, husband is AWOL! also found out he failed a piss test so now i am screwed!

  • jamie July 12, 2011, 2:49 pm

    what am i entitled to after we divorced.. my husband never sent me a dime for the year and a half we were seperated cause he assumed i didnt deserve cuz we were divorcing now that we found a lawyer i wonder what im entitled to after the fact