Should I Get My Ex's CO Involved in Messy Divorce?

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I have been going through a divorce since February 2010 and it has been pure hell. I just found out my husband has been underpaying court-ordered child support even though he has been receiving dual BAH for California and Hawaii.

My son and I have not lived with him since 2006.When I called the finance office, they let me know that last month my ex received a large amount of back pay for the dual BAH status. At the end of the conversation, the finance office said that to resolve this problem I need to contact legal with the issue because they can no longer help me because of my husband’s rank.

I then contacted the legal office and began to tell them the story. All they could tell me was that I needed to talk with the finance office. They said I could also bring this issue to the attention to my ex-husband’s battalion commander.

I'm unsure of what to do. I'm worried that my ex may be doing something that is not right and he could get into a lot of trouble for it. Either way, I have to go to child support to inform them that he owes back pay. I have to inform his battalion commander that he owes back pay and he doesn't have an allotment. My husband is a first sergeant and in my opinion he should know better. What should I do?

BAH Abuse

Dear Abuse,

It sounds like your husband is not being honest with the BAH he is receiving. I think there are many things you can do in your situation.

First, I think you should get his commander involved regardless of your husband’s rank. He should obey the court order.

Second, get legal representation. Let your lawyer know that your husband is not obeying the court order.

Third, since you have a court order you can also contact the court clerk and let them know your husband is not abiding by the stipulations of the judge. They could provide other options for you too.

Bottom line is that you must continue to pursue every avenue regarding this issue because of the large amount of back pay he received. That money could be gone by now! I wish it were one clearcut way to solve this, but in your situation you have to keep self-advocating until you are heard and the situation is solved.

Ms. Vicki

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Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, is married to an active-duty Soldier and has three sons. She has a Master's of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and currently works as a therapist with military servicemembers and their families. She provides services for a wide array of concerns such as combat stress, PTSD, couples and marital problems, depression, grief and loss, stress and coping.

Ms. Vicki also writes an advice column "Dear Ms. Vicki" that appears in the Washington Times, the Fort Campbell Courier and the Heidelberg Herald Post. Ms. Vicki also hosts an internet radio show and blogs on her community site with the Washington Times. If you want to ask Ms. Vicki for advice about your military life, please email her at

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