Ask a JAG – Divorce: Leave government housing or be fined

Q:  I am a sergeant and just divorced my local national husband. I moved back into the barracks, but he refuses to leave our base housing unit! Is that my problem?

A. Yes. You and your ex-husband may be held financially liable for over $3,400 per month. He is no longer eligible to live in government quarters. He may also be held criminally liable for trespassing on a military installation and customs violations. You may be charged under Article 92 and 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for theft of housing services and disobeying regulations.

You must ask for help from the housing office, notify your chain-of-command, and update your information in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System immediately after you divorce or separate.

If you cannot persuade your husband to move out of government quarters voluntarily, the housing office and your unit can help. Generally, only married service members whose spouses are present in U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart are authorized to live in family housing pursuant to Army Regulation 420-1 and AR 600-8-14.

Unauthorized personnel who reside in family housing cost the taxpayer millions of dollars per year. For every unit that an unauthorized person occupies, an eligible family must move off-post. The taxpayer must pay overseas housing allowance and utilities to house this eligible family in a unit off-post. The family suffers because they often must deal with unethical landlords or long commutes to the installations.

If your ex-husband is having problems finding an apartment off-post, he can visit Agentur für Arbeit Stuttgart to apply for subsidized housing at Nordbahnhofstrasse 30-34 Stuttgart. The website is (look for the English tab). Army Community Service can also help with financial management issues.

If you are aware of any other unauthorized personnel who reside in family housing, such as single Soldiers whose spouses have returned to the U.S., or occupants who are not Defense Department dependents, call the Stuttgart Housing Office immediately at DSN: 431-2118/civ. 07031-15-2118.

In the current environment of fiscal austerity, you can help the DOD save money and prevent further budget cuts by reporting unauthorized recipients of government resources.

This column is not intended as individual or specific legal advice. If you have specific issues or concerns, you should consult a judge advocate at 421-4152/civ. 0711-729-4152.