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Q: Does the BAH differential still apply after a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2023 | Divorce

A: It depends on several factors such as the military member’s active status and rank, the location of the divorce and the details of the divorce settlement.

The BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) differential is a type of military compensation designed to help service members with the cost of housing. Thus, as a form of compensation, it could end up getting divided between the two parties.

BAH as marital property

BAH is a cash benefit, and as such, requires disclosure on financial affidavits as marital property. The court will take into account the service member’s BAH when dividing the marital assets and debts. However, the court has discretion to divide the BAH as it sees fit and the BAH is not always divided equally. Understand, too, that though the parties can negotiate BAH, according to the American Bar Association, BAH is exempt from garnishment.

Considerations for division of BAH

When dividing BAH in a military divorce, the court will consider factors such as the service member’s rank, duty station and the length of the marriage. The court may also consider the service member’s future earning potential and the income of the non-military spouse when determining the division of BAH.

Determining eligibility for BAH

If the service member is on active duty at the time of the divorce, they will typically be eligible for BAH. However, if the service member has retired or separated from the military at the time of the divorce, they may not be eligible for BAH. Consult a professional to tackle these complex questions.