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Kansas City Military Divorce Lawyers


How Do You Choose and Hire a Military Divorce Lawyer?

What is a Military Divorce? 

A military divorce is not a different or unique type of proceeding, it is a divorce or dissolution of marriage case, like any other divorce or dissolution of marriage case and will proceed through a civilian/state court in front of the same family court judges who hear other family law cases. The term “military divorce” refers to a divorce where one or both of the spouses are military members or retirees such that the case is likely to present some issues unique to the servicemember’s military affiliation. Just like there is no such thing as a “military divorce”, there not a “military divorce lawyer”, however the term is generally used in regard to family law attorneys who have specialized, unique knowledge about the needs and rights of military service members and thus, can more effectively protect the interests of the parties and advocate for the rights of the parties, better understanding the issues unique to military service members and their families. 

How Do You Find a Military Family Law Attorney?

Hiring an attorney for a military divorce or family law situation is not easy and is likely, one of the most important decisions you will make in positively or negatively affecting the outcome of your case. Many attorneys claim to know military law but in practical effect, do not have the requisite knowledge and skill needed to handle a military family law or divorce case competently. 

If you know someone who has gone through a military family law issue, getting referrals would be an excellent starting point. Make sure, however, that you are looking for a family law attorney who knows military family law and can competently assist you with addressing all other matters concerning your divorce or other family law matter. In other situations, our office has been referred cases through an opposing party indicating that our office (as opposing counsel) did an excellent job in addressing the military legal issues of the case. Finally, many family law attorneys are able to give you insight into the people in the family law field who they practice with who excel at military family law issues. 

A recommendation is only the first step in finding the right attorney for your case. From there, review the firm’s website and determine the firm’s involvement with military issues. Ultimately, after getting referrals and doing your research, the best way to determine an attorney’s ability to handle military family law cases is to schedule a consultation and speak with the attorney about their knowledge and comfort level with the complex legal issues your case and situation may encounter related to the military component. You can make best use of your consultation by being prepared with some military-specific questions and determining if the attorney you’re speaking with is able to competently answer your questions.

What are Some Questions You Can Ask Your Military Divorce or Family Law Attorney?

  1. How many cases have you handled involving military issues? At Pingel Family Law, we have handled so many we have lost count. It’s likely hundreds of cases. If your attorney is struggling to denominate a sizeable number of military family law cases, likely, you should continue seeking counsel elsewhere; 
  2. How does the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act affect service of process? This is a bit of a trick question. The SSCRA was replaced in 2003 with the SCRA (the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act) but it does not provide any specific requirements regarding serving a summons on a military member.
  3. Explain the Blended Retirement System. This is a really complex question that only very advanced military family law attorneys will understand. This is a new system in 2018 that resulted in reducing the multiplier for retirement calculations from 2.5 to 2% and there is now up to a 5% match by the government into the TSP and continuation pay available at 12 years of military service. 
  4. What is the 10/10/10 Rule for Military Retirement? This means that a spouse was married to a military servicemember for at least 10 years during active duty military service, overlapping ten years of marriage, allowing for a direct payment from DFAS. The state court still has the ability to divide retirement with less than ten years of overlapping marriage/military service but the service member will need to make direct payment rather than relying on payment through DFAS. 
  5. What benefits will a civilian spouse receive after the divorce? They will receive his or her entitlement to military retirement. If there is twenty years of marriage that overlaps at least 15 years of military service, there is one year of transitional medical benefits. The parties must be married for twenty years during twenty years of active duty military service in order for the spouse to be entitled to 20/20/20 benefits.

Your Missouri and Kansas Military and Family Law Divorce Attorney

If you are going through or may need a military divorce attorney or military family law attorney in Kansas or Missouri, we would be honored for you to consider Pingel Family Law, LLC. Not only would we pass the above test, but we truly know Missouri and Kansas family law and military law. Call us today to schedule your consultation at (816) 208-8130. We will look forwarding to helping and serving you! 


"I have known Attorney Pingel for more than fifteen (15) years. Mandee is a lawyer I consider a respected colleague. She has a reputation for being intelligent, knowledgeable about the law, well-prepared and kind."

- A Lawyer in Liberty, Missouri