Military Divorce Attorney in Kansas City, Kansas
Divorces are never easy. But when one or both parties serve in the military, the process can become even more complicated. Attorney DeWoskin understands the unique challenges military families face during divorce and is committed to guiding you through this difficult time.
Which State Should the Divorce Be Filed In?
Deciding in which state to file for divorce depends on numerous factors. For military divorces, typically, you can file in the state where the military member is stationed, the state where the military member claims legal residency, or the state where the non-military spouse resides. Each state has different rules and regulations concerning property division, alimony, child custody, and child support, so it's crucial to consult with an attorney who is familiar with military divorce laws in the respective state.
The decision on where to file for divorce can significantly impact your proceedings. As a legal resident of a state, you have the right to file for divorce there. However, in military divorces, the service member's legal residence might differ from their physical location due to deployment or permanent change of station orders.
Understanding the Division of Pension
Military pensions are considered marital property and can be divided between spouses during divorce. Each state has its own rules on how to divide this asset.
In Kansas, the division of military pensions during divorce is governed by both state and federal laws. Kansas law views military pensions as marital property and, therefore, subject to equitable distribution in a divorce. The length of the marriage overlapping with the military service, the rank of the service member, and several other factors can influence how the pension is divided between the spouses. It's important to consult with an attorney experienced in military divorce to fully understand your rights and obligations under Kansas law.
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides certain protections for service members involved in civil actions. For instance, court proceedings can be postponed if the service member can't attend due to duty. Similarly, SCRA offers protections against default judgments for failing to respond or appear at trial.
Special Protections Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA)
The USFSPA provides special protections to spouses of military members during divorce proceedings. For example, it allows for the continuation of certain benefits, such as medical care and commissary privileges, if the marriage lasted at least 20 years overlapping with at least 20 years of service. It's important to note that the USFSPA does not automatically entitle spouses to a portion of the military member's retirement pay. The court must still make a specific determination in the divorce decree regarding the division of this asset.
The 20/20/20 Rule
The 20/20/20 rule is a significant concept in military divorce that can influence the extent of benefits a non-military spouse may be entitled to. According to this rule, a non-military spouse may continue to enjoy full military benefits if the couple was married for at least 20 years, the military member performed at least 20 years of service eligible for retirement pay, and there was at least a 20-year overlap between the marriage and the military service. This rule can significantly impact the division of assets and benefits during a military divorce, and a skilled family law attorney can guide you through its implications and potential outcomes in your situation.
In situations where a military spouse is stationed overseas, the process of divorce can introduce additional complexities. The issue of where to file for divorce becomes critical, as international laws can significantly influence the outcome. For instance, some countries may not acknowledge U.S. divorce proceedings, while others might not recognize provisions such as spousal support or division of military pensions. Moreover, issues such as child custody can become increasingly difficult to manage across international borders.
Child Custody and Visitation
In military divorce cases where one parent is stationed overseas, establishing and maintaining a stable and nurturing environment for children can be challenging. The laws of the host country, the distance between the two locations, and the mobile nature of military life are all factors that can complicate child custody and visitation arrangements.
Parents need to remember that, regardless of where the divorce proceedings are conducted, the main focus should always be the welfare and best interest of the child. Courts typically encourage both parents to participate actively and regularly in their child's life, but the logistics can become complicated when dealing with international distances. In such cases, creative solutions such as virtual visitation – using video calls, social media platforms, and other online tools – can be integral to maintaining a meaningful parent-child relationship.
Military Divorce Attorney in Kansas City, Kansas
Navigating a military divorce requires knowledge and experience. Attorney DeWoskin, based in Kansas City, Kansas, brings both to the table, serving clients throughout Johnson, Leavenworth, and Wyandotte counties in Kansas, as well as Jackson, Cass, Clay, and Platte counties in Missouri. Don't go through this alone. Reach out to Attorney DeWoskin today for informed, empathetic guidance throughout your military divorce proceedings.