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Enlistment Policy for Men Who Acknowledge Paternity

IM-96-03

Published: August 5, 1996
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Topics:
Case Management, Paternity Establishment, Family Services & Referrals, Military & Veterans
Types:
Policy, Information Memorandums (IM)

Enlistment Policy for Men Who Acknowledge Paternity

Office of Child Support

Enforcement (OCSE)

Information Memorandum

Memorandum No. 96-03 Date: Aug 5, 1996

U.S. Department of

Health and Human Services

Administration for Children

and Families

Washington, DC 20447

TO:STATE AGENCIES ADMINISTERING CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT PLANS UNDER TITLE IV-D OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT AND OTHER INTERESTED INDIVIDUALS

SUBJECT:ENLISTMENT POLICY FOR MEN WHO ACKNOWLEDGE PATERNITY

PURPOSE:To share information about the Military Services' enlistment policies on men who have acknowledged paternity.

BACKGROUND:The Military Services have restrictive policies on enlisting single parents (male and female) with custody of a child. Although criteria vary somewhat among the services, the general guideline is that single parents with custody of a child are not eligible to enlist unless custody of the child is assigned to another adult for the term of enlistment. This restrictive policy is necessary to provide reasonable assurance that the applicant's status as a single parent with a child will not interfere with his or her ability to satisfy requirements of military training, readiness, mobilization, station transfers, shift work, overtime (sometimes including weekends and holidays), and deployments; and that the applicant has made sufficient arrangements for continuous adequate child care.

Issue:The Services regard unmarried men who have acknowledged paternity as single parents with custody of their child unless there is a court order showing that legal custody of the dependent has been awarded to the other parent or another adult, at least for the term of enlistment. The applicant for military service, therefore, needs to clarify the custody issue prior to enlistment.

Military recruiters will neither counsel nor recommend to prospective recruits that they relinquish custody of their child as a condition for enlisting. Therefore, if the prospective enlistee does not have custody of a child and there is no pending order seeking custody, he or she should present a court order to the recruiter.

While criteria for enlistment of single parents may appear restrictive, they are in the best overall interest of the Services, the single parent, and the dependent child. Supporting "responsible parenthood", the Department of Defense believes it unfair to enlist parents whose child care responsibilities could jeopardize military performance or parents who could satisfy military demands only to the detriment of adequate care for their children.

Note: Consistent with its support for "responsible parenthood", the Services normally will not enlist married individuals with two or more dependent children. This is because entry level pay is not considered sufficient to support a large family; total commitment during initial training and subsequent assignments preclude the Service member from providing the extra income needed the family; and, assignments occasionally are in areas where dependents cannot accompany their sponsors.

CONTACT:For more information, contact your ACF regional office.

David Gray Ross

Deputy Director

Office of Child Support

Enforcement

cc: Regional Administrators

Regional Program Managers