Allotments in Wisconsin military divorce

A knowledgeable Wisconsin divorce lawyer can use military allotments to resolve difficult payment issues for divorcing spouses.  An allotment is a specific amount of money that a servicemember can direct the military to pay to a creditor directly from his/her paycheck.  Allotments can be either voluntary or involuntary.

The military has very strict regulations regarding how, when, and how much it will pay for support or property purposes, even if the spouses agree and there is a valid state court order.  However, the parties’ can retain some flexibility by entering a state court order requiring the service member to make certain payments through a voluntary allotment.  In this way, the order does not necessarily direct the military to take any specific action. Instead, the order directs the servicemember to establish the allotment for payment directly to the ex-spouse.

This structure is not appropriate for all instances.  For example, it should not be used to divide the bulk of the member’s military retired pay.   That division is usually accomplished through a separate court order that meets all the military’s requirements.  Rather, an allotment can be used to pay debts or make certain payments to the ex-spouse that would  be more difficult or impossible under other military regulations.

This is not to say that allotments are a free-for-all.  There are certainly rules that limit the amount that can be paid, etc.  But allotments can be an effective tool to ensure a fair and enforceable result in a divorce involving servicemembers.  Attorney David Kowalski routinely represents servicemembers and their spouses in divorce, and is happy to consult on this and other issues.

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