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If I grant my husband's request to be primary custodian (based on a military/BAH issue*), is there anyway....

Marysville, WA |
Filed under: Divorce Military law

I can assure that he can't just take my son away because he wants to play power trip ? I am attempting to do this without a lawyer because I am lower income but apparently not low enough where CLEAR will help me . I have no credit either . So unfortunately , while I have put this off for 8 months to try and save for it , I am still unable to afford a regular lawyer . And also JAG at Lewis - Accord has said they can't help with Custody . * Unfortunately we found out that unless he has my son 181 days a year or primary custody , his BAH is taken away . Which means he can't afford to live off base . Is there anyway we can arrange this so my son can live with me most of the time , my husband can have primary custody , but if something comes up , we have to go to a mediator before making final decisions ?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. This isn't really a military law question, except to the extent you note his BAH w/dependents is conditional.

    www.court-martial.com; www.court-martial.us.com; mljucmj@gmail.com 703-298-9562, 800-401-1583. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship.


  2. Your question does not sound right to me as it relates to BAH. The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is a U.S. based allowance prescribed by geographic duty location, pay grade, and dependency status. You get more when you are married, but, you get it if the serviceperson lives off base. I do not think that lack of 181 days means zero BAH. I think it means a lower BAH. BAH is explained on-line in each service. There is a chart that will tell you specifically how much based on rank, local, and dependency status. I do not think that gaming the system is the way to go. A person in the military can be punished under the military code of justice for a variety of things that could be broader than what would happen to a nonmilitary person. The decision about a primary parent takes a number of things into account. There are also triggers for the relocation statute to consider when a military person is involved. Get a consult with a local attorney.


  3. If you cannot afford a lawyer, please contact the County Bar Association's Volunteer Legal Services group and see if you can get into a clinic. If your husband has a lawyer you really need one, as well. If he won't give you any money to pay a lawyer, you can ask the Judge to make him give you money for a lawyer. An experienced family law attorney can help you review your options. What your husband hasn't explained is that if he is custodian, you will be paying support.

    There are lots of ways to resolve your marriage that don't involve giving your power away to a judge. I hope you can get to a local family law attorney and get more individualized advice. It really matters.

    Elizabeth Powell

    Using Avvo does not form an attorney client relationship.


  4. You need to see a family law attorney--your issue is not a military law issue, its a child custody issue. BAD idea to attempt this without a lawyer, your post indicates to me that you are not capable of handling the issue yourself--no bust on you, you've not been to law school, studied your states laws, or been trained to be a trial attorney--you're in over your head.

    READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I am providing educational instruction only--not legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.


  5. It would be unwise to allow your ex to be the primary custodial parent becuase he then has more cotrol and you will be paying child support to him. perhaps more importantly is the issue of decisioin making -- under no circumsatcens should you allow him to make the important decisions under secition 4.2 of the PP -- that should be joint decision making. If you allow him to make unlateral decisions, you have no power to control how the chidlren are being raised when it comes to education and non-emergwency health care. Be aware, JAG is no friend to the non-military parent.

    Please note that THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and are for informational purposes only. This response is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship and is only based on the limited facts given. The response might change should additional facts be learned and should not be relied on as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney who can properly assess the situation, as well as all pertinent facts, prior to taking any action based on the foregoing statements

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