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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10 comments on “Can funds received from the G.I. bill be used for child support?

    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 inheritance prior to marriage and that inheritance is in the bank paying you 3000 per month in interest does it suddenly count as “income” even though the payments come from a separate property source? I would tend to think no. Rental property as well. If its separate property I believe it cannot be used as a divisible asset your spouse in entitled to. The same could be said for the GI bill. You bought in when you weren’t married (most of us) and your investment grew over 20 years (or however long you served) and now you’re receiving benefits as a result. My ex never paid for the GI Bill. When I bought into it she was 13 years old. Yet somehow some judges feel they are entitled to the benefits later. Thankfully and correctly mine did not. And I used 38 USC as the document.

    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 you got the GI Bill. You had to PAY $1200 to technically BUY INTO THE GI BILL. If you weren’t married at the time, then your GI Bill would be separate property. So if you have investments that you bought before you were married and they make you money now, the court somehow can attach itself to your SEPARATE property??? It doesn’t make any sense……

    I currently support both of my kids and although my ex wife is able bodied and capable of working with a 6 year bank work history, she has been unemployed for over a year and refuses to look for work. She collects $2000 every month and I pay ON TIME EVERY TIME. My wife is a dead beat Mom. She is facing a criminal trial for domestic violence (brandishing a firearm) on me but since it hasn’t gone to trial yet it means NOTHING yet. And the court seemingly loves her since I’ve been given a paltry 25% visitation schedule that I continue to fight. My ex has scheduled a hearing claiming that I am lying about my income because I didn’t include my GI Bill on my income and expense declaration. And I will not. For obvious reasons.

    Here’s a solution if you are already paying and don’t want you GI Bill attached if you are in a state where they will….

    STOP GOING TO SCHOOL. GI Bill is conditional income. If you don’t attend school, you don’t get money…. period…. If the court wants to play games and won’t force my wife to work to support her children as the family code CLEARLY states when it says “Both parents are equally responsible for the financial support of their dependent children” THEN I will also play the game and realize THEY CANNOT FORCE YOU TO ATTEND SCHOOL. EVER! So get a job, pay your support and provide for your kids as you should. But the GI Bill is something you risked your life for and PAID for so that you can advance your education AND provide a better life for yourself and your kids in the long run. So if they try to attach to it just quit school and eliminate the money.

    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.

    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.”

    Can GI Bill & BAH be garnish for child support in arrears?

    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 AG’s office try to garnish from the BAH? I would like to honestly set up a draft with the AG’s office to keep the money transactions flowing just as they are now and wondered which route would be the best to communicate with the AG’s office beforehand. Thank you for any advice!

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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. While mortgaes, money is sent to your bank, then bank account sends it to the mortgage lender.

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