Military Families


OCSE recognizes that military personnel and their families have unique circumstances that may affect their child support obligation or their ability to pay support: deployments, change of duty stations, medical discharges, drawdown, retirement. These circumstances can mean significant changes for the service member and their family. To help us serve you, the custodial party and the noncustodial parent, be sure to contact your local child support office  when any of these circumstances occur.

Note: If you do not have an open enforcement case with OCSE, you may wish to seek the advice of a private attorney or the advice of your JAG officer.

International Deployment and Your Passport
Noncustodial parents who owe $2,500 or more in past-due child support are automatically referred to the Department of State for passport denial. Please contact your local child support office for help finding out if your passport has been flagged due to past due child support. You may be asked to provide verification from your commanding officer that you have been deployed internationally or that your military service otherwise requires your travel outside of the U.S.   

Authorization for Release of Information
Federal and state law prevents us from discussing a child support case with anyone other than you or the other parent in the case without your permission. If you are stationed out of the country and wish to designate someone else to speak with us on your behalf, please contact your local child support office for assistance.

Custodial Parties and Active Military Duty
Court-ordered child support payments are ordered to be paid to the custodial party for the care of the children. If you are a custodial party whose military service requires that your children stay with a relative, child support payments are still ordered to be made to you. You can contact your local child support office to discuss how to redirect your child support payments to the person who is caring for your children while you are on active duty.

Call to Active Military Duty
If you have been called to active duty, it is important that you contact your local child support office. Provide that office with your military branch, date of activation, and your new address. 

Our staff will work with you to ensure that income withholding of your child support obligation is transferred to DFAS so that your child support will be deducted from your military pay. There may be some delay before the income withholding at DFAS goes into effect. You are responsible to make payments until you see the child support deducted from your military pay.

If you provide health insurance coverage for your child and your existing insurance coverage will end, you may enroll your child in the military health care coverage TRICARE. Please notify us if you will no longer be maintaining your existing health insurance plan and transferring coverage to TRICARE. 

If your call to active duty results in a significant change in your income, that change in income may justify a modification of the amount of the child support order. You may request a review of your case. See Change An Order. Only a court can change the amount of your child support order. Even if your income is reduced due to military activation, you are still responsible for paying the current court-ordered amount on time and in full. 


A Handbook for Military Families – Helping You with Child Support