Here is the hypothetical problem.  The spouses get divorced.  One spouse served the military for 20 years and makes 5K per month in disposable retired pay.  The other spouse is supposed to receive 50% of this disposable retired pay, so $2,500 per month.  But, the service member spouse receiving the funds has set up a voluntary allotment, causing 4K of the funds to go to a friend.  A voluntary allotment is a mechanism for a service member to set up their military funds to be automatically paid to another party.  Voluntary allotments can be used for a number of payments such as child support, or even savings account allocation.

If the DFAS receives an order from a district court, stating that 50% of the disposable pay of service member is to go to former spouse, then the DFAS will divide the amount as ordered, and will override or ignore the service member’s previously set up voluntary allotment.