MCO P5800.16A, Marine Corps Manual for Legal Administration, Chapter 15, sets up monthly support standards members must follow in the absence of an agreement or court order. Per section 15004, the amount payable upon request by a family member is expressed as a fraction of the BAH or OHA the marine is receiving, with a minimum dollar level per family member:
- 1 family member: 1/2 BAH/OHA, minimum $350 each.
- 2 family members: 1/3 BAH/OHA, minimum $286 each.
- 3 family members: 1/4 BAH/OHA, minimum $233 each.
- 4 family members: 1/5 BAH/OHA, minimum $200 each.
- 5 family members: 1/6 BAH/OHA, minimum $174 each.
- 6 or more family members: 1/7 BAH/OHA, minimum $152 each.
Under no circumstances may a marine be required to pay more than 1/3 of his/her gross military pay, which includes base pay and all allowances.
There is no support duty between active duty spouses without children.
Support is payable by cash, check, money order, allotment, etc. There is no provision for in-kind payments.
Modification of Obligation
The member's commanding officer (Colonel or higher), per section 15005, may reduce or eliminate the support requirement under the following circumstances:
- The spouse earns more than the marine.
- The marine has provided 12 continuous months of interim support per this requirement.
- The marine was the victim of physical abuse by the spouse, substantiated by the family advocacy case management team or a court (must still provide for minor children).
- The marine is paying regular or recurring obligations (e.g. rent or consumer debts) of the family members of sufficient magnitude and duration to justify relief.