Can funds received from the G.I. bill be used for child support?

Question:Samuel Sanchez divorce lawyer

I will be receiving the post-9/11 G.I. bill and with it Basic Housing Allowance (BAH). Can my ex-wife try to get any of those funds for child support?



The funds that are disbursed via the G.I. bill are earmarked funds specifically set out for use in obtaining post-secondary school education and as such are most typically unavailable for attachment by your spouse in regards to any amount of child support owed.

While there may be some exceptions to this depending on previous standing orders or agreements between the parties referencing a division of certain portions of these funds post disbursement, most often these funds are specifically paid directly to schools or institutions on direct payment schedule based upon costs associated therein.  While it is possible to attach almost any funds post-disbursement to an individual, it is much more difficult to do so when those funds are disbursed to an institution and are specifically earmarked as such.

While I would still highly suggest that you contact an attorney to discuss the matter in more detail, based on the cursory view of the facts as stated I would say that the likelihood of your spouse garnishing or attaching those funds is somewhat remote.

Although I practice law in Texas, I cannot give you legal advice without thoroughly reviewing your case. Do not rely on this information as establishing an attorney-client relationship. Contact an attorney immediately for assistance. Cordell & Cordell, P.C. does represent clients in Texas. Thank you for submitting a question to Cordell & Cordell, P.C.


Samuel M. Sanchez an Associate Attorney in the Fort Worth, Texas, office of Cordell & Cordell P.C. where his primary practice is exclusively in the area of domestic relations. Mr. Sanchez is licensed in the state of Texas where he is a certified mediator, interview/interrogation specialist, and is appointed by Gov. Perry to the Board of Regents for Midwestern University. 

Mr. Sanchez received his Bachelor of Arts from Texas Tech University, and received his Juris Doctor from Wesleyan Law School in Fort Worth, Texas.

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11 Comments on "Can funds received from the G.I. bill be used for child support?"

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Divorcing retiree
1 year 1 month ago
Depends on how in ur business your ex spouse is I suppose PJ. Judges don’t like to come back to the same thing over and over. My court case the judge upheld the ruling that 38 U.S.C (f)(3) does in fact protect the Post 9-11 GI Bill from being used as income. It is set aside for getting an advanced education. I tend to think that if you were not married when you bought into the GI bill which costs 1200.00 when I bought in, then I don’t see why it wouldn’t be considered separate property. If you got an… Read more »
a divorcing retiree
1 year 2 months ago
38 U.S.C. does state that it cannot be treated as marital property or an asset, when it comes down to divide assets. Unlike your pension which IS NOT protected by 38 U.S.C. and the non service member spouse will receive a percentage of the pension, based on the marriage/service overlap. If you were with your spouse for 10 years of your military service but did 20 years the spouse would be entitled to 25% of your pension NOT 50%. However I can’t see how they still justify including the GI Bill in the calculation of child support. Think about HOW… Read more »
Chanthasack Keomek
10 months 13 days ago

Nicely said. You would simply have to stop going to school until the final decision of the amount needed to be paid. You can then pursue school and get the g.i bill.

1 year 1 month ago

A DIVORCING RETIREE, so if I stop going to school to lower the CS, how long to I wait to go back to finish my degree?

Divorcing retiree
1 year 1 month ago

Depends on how much in ur business your ex is. I went to court today and here’s the update. I used 38 USC (f)(3) and the judge found that “GI Bill benefits are unattachable as income for purposes of support both spousal and child”

So even though I finished school prior my ex was unable to claim I was hiding income.

Jose A. Garcia
2 years 2 months ago

Not so sure it can be used to calculate support
What about 38 U.S.C. § 3020(f)(3)

Which Reads:

“Entitlement transferred under this section
may not be treated as marital property, or the
asset of a marital estate, subject to division in
a divorce or other civil proceeding.”

Ann Marie
2 years 6 months ago
Can GI Bill & BAH be garnish for child support in arrears?Hello, I’m currently having some wages garnished for 14 months of child support that was past due from 2008-2010. I’ve been current with the Texas OAG office since they began the garnishments in 2011. I would like to go back to Cosmetology school for the 12 months and use my spoous’s GI Bill and receive BAH since going to school full-time, would conflict with my existing accounting position. My question is: If you are current with your pments (or garns, and live in Texas as a resident, would the… Read more »
2 years 8 months ago

In our recent case in AZ and from what I have seen on the web today… YES. They will count it as your income and therefore, use it when finding your child support obligation.

2 years 10 months ago

Reverse situation
I am in a reverse situation where I am paying child support to an ex who claimed $0 income during the calculations and she is now using the post 9/11 GI Bill and receiving over $2,000 BAH. If my BAH was included in my income when determining CS can I file for a petition to modify CS and have her BAH considered as income thus lowering my CS obligation? It would only seem right, if they can touch my BAH, they should be able to touch her’s as well.

3 years 4 months ago

If the ex-service member obtains an increased amount of funds because he or she claims dependents the funds above the distribution at single rate should go to child support. Also attorney’s representing parents should encourage that they pay child support always. There is some amount that every parent can pay to support children. A person who has a child irregardless how the child was conceived is responsible for providing care for that child. Attorney’s should make that known to their clients.

John Kuahuia Jr.
6 years 4 months ago
BAH and BAS are allowances provide to military member. If his/her living staus changes it also changes too. It all depends on your rent agreement contract or mortgage who is listed in it. Like if lived in a three bedroom home and are reduced to a one bedroom apartment it will cover most but completely pay the rent or mortgage. If I remember right these are privledges not rights given to you from base to base. You have request to live off base or apply at a housing office to recieve BAH. It automatically gets sent too the rental office.… Read more »