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The Role of an Expert Witness in a Military Divorce

Joseph A. DeWoskin, P.C. Feb. 26, 2024

Couple on sofa in therapy for conflict, marriage problemIn the realm of divorce law, military divorces hold a unique position. There are similar factors at play but with extra layers of complexity, such as the division of military pensions, healthcare benefits, and how deployments can affect child custody arrangements.  

It's for these reasons that those going through a military divorce should seek the counsel of an attorney who's experienced in handling military divorces and can offer invaluable guidance and support throughout the process. 

Understanding Expert Witnesses 

In a military divorce proceeding, expert witnesses can be game-changers. An expert witness is an individual who has dependable knowledge or skill in a particular field and is called upon to provide their professional opinion on matters related to the case. In simple terms, they are subject-matter experts (SMEs) who assist the judge or jury in understanding niche issues. 


Expert witnesses, such as forensic accountants, child psychologists, and military personnel well-versed in military rules and benefits, can assist the court in grasping the nuances and complexities at hand. Consider these examples: 

  • A forensic accountant in a military divorce can be particularly instrumental when assessing and evaluating the military spouse's pension. Since military pensions are not only a source of retirement income but also a complex asset affected by years of service and rank, a forensic accountant has the expertise to calculate the present value and project the future benefits, helping to ensure an equitable division during the settlement process, especially in states that treat such pensions as marital property to be divided between spouses. 

  • Child psychologists may contribute by assessing the psychological and emotional impacts of divorce on children, particularly in a military context where one parent's deployment can cause significant stress and upheaval. They consider the child's best interests, providing insight into the family dynamics and recommending arrangements that prioritize stability and the child's well-being amidst the unique challenges faced by military families. Any insights from their assessments will be helpful when the court constructs custody arrangements and parenting plans.  

  • Military personnel can provide clarity on the implications of various military regulations and how they intersect with family law. This includes explaining the services member's Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), a critical document in understanding pay and benefits, which can factor into child support and spousal maintenance determinations. They could also offer insights on potential complications associated with deployments, relocations, and the division of military benefits in divorce proceedings.  

When selecting an expert witness, your attorney will consider their relevant experience and qualifications in the specific area required for the case.  

Whether it involves clarifying intricate financial matters, assessing the best interests of the child, or providing insights into military regulations that impact asset division, their testimony can provide valuable insights and understanding.

Military Rule of Evidence 702 

Navigating a military divorce requires understanding certain key legal guidelines, one of which is the Military Rule of Evidence 702. This rule dictates the admissibility of expert witness testimony in military divorce cases. According to this rule, an expert witness can testify in the form of an opinion if their scientific, technical, or specialized knowledge will help the court understand the evidence or determine a fact in issue. 

The court evaluates the qualifications and expertise of the expert witness under this rule to ensure their testimony is reliable and relevant. The judge holds the authority to accept or reject an expert witness based on their qualifications, methodology, and the reliability of their opinions. Both divorcing parties and their attorneys need to understand the implications of the Military Rule of Evidence 702.  

This rule ensures that only qualified and reliable expert witnesses can provide their opinions, thereby upholding the integrity and fairness of the divorce proceedings. 

Ask a Lawyer With Military Experience 

Ultimately, the inclusion of expert witnesses in a military divorce proceeding is a testament to the commitment to achieve a fair and just resolution. Their contribution is invaluable, as they help unravel the complexities and ensure that all aspects are considered, ultimately leading to a well-informed and equitable outcome. 

A military divorce does not need to be a battleground. With the right legal counsel and the insightful contributions of expert witnesses, it can be a process that honors the service of the military member while protecting the rights and futures of both spouses and children. 

If you find yourself facing the challenges of a military divorce, seeking specialized legal representation is your first step toward peace of mind. Reach out to Joseph A. DeWoskin, P.C., where experience and empathy come together to guide you through this significant life transition. Their attorney served nine years in the military and understands the complexities of military divorces. He'll work hard to ensure your case benefits from the thorough and nuanced approach it deserves. 

Joseph A. DeWoskin, P.C. is based in Kansas City, Kansas, and offers its services to clients throughout Johnson County, Leavenworth County, and Wyandotte County in Kansas. Beyond Kansas, the firm extends its reach to Missouri families throughout Jackson County, Cass County, Clay County, and Platte County.