A member assigned to permanent duty within the 50 United States, who is not furnished Government housing, is eligible for BAH, based on the member's rank, dependency status, and permanent duty station zip code.
A member stationed overseas (except in Hawaii and Alaska), including U.S. territories and possessions, who is not furnished Government housing, is eligible for an Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) based on the member's dependency status.
A member with dependents (except for a member paying child support) serving an unaccompanied overseas tour, is eligible for BAH at the with-dependent rate, based on the dependent's U.S. residence zip code, plus Family Separation Allowance (FSH) at the OCONUS PDS, if the member is not provided Government housing overseas.
One member in the marriage will receive the ‘with dependent’ rate and the other will receive the ‘without dependent’ rate. The rules governing allocation of dependents for BAH are specified in the DoDFMR, Volume 7A, par. 2604 [PDF, defense.gov]. The rules reflect the law and the policy of the Services.
It depends on whether or not the member has legal and physical custody of any children, pays child support, and/or lives in single-type Government quarters. If a member has legal and physical custody of children, then the member is authorized BAH at the with-dependent rate if not assigned adequate family-type Government quarters. If the member’s former spouse has custody and the member is paying adequate child support (at least in an amount of the member’s BAH-DIFF rate) the member is authorized BAH at the with-dependent rate if not in Government quarters or BAH-DIFF if assigned single-type Government quarters.
BAH-DIFF is the housing allowance amount for a member who is assigned to single-type quarters and who is authorized a BAH solely by reason of the member's payment of child support. A member is not authorized BAH-DIFF if the monthly rate of that child support is less than the BAH-DIFF amount. The BAH-DIFF amounts, originally calculated in 1997, are updated annually based on changes in the Basic Pay tables. For more information, contact your servicing finance office or consult DoDFMR, Volume 7A, pars. 260301 and 260504 [defense.gov, PDF, 116 pages].
No, both members may not receive a housing allowance based on the same dependent. When the former spouses share legal and physical custody of the child, each parent is authorized BAH at the with-dependent rate during the period the child is actually in the parent's physical custody. Both parents may not receive a housing allowance for the child during the same period. The rules governing member to member BAH are found in the DoDFMR, Volume 7A, par. 260403 [defense.gov, PDF, 116 pages].
No, a member is not authorized BAH or OHA solely on the basis of the member's child support payment when the child/children is/are in another active duty member's custody (including a former spouse), who is assigned to Gov't owned/leased family-type quarters (does not include privatized quarters) or is in receipt of a with-dependent housing allowance on behalf of the child/children. For more information, see DoDFMR, Volume 7A, pars. 260306, 260307 and 260403 [defense.gov, PDF, 116 pages].