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Military divorce rate affected by deployment time and conditions

Military families know that they face unique challenges that civilians simply do not always understand. The bonds that can be created by banding together through multiple moves can be beautiful and strong. However, the frequency of moves and/or the impact of separations can be devastating. A couple facing a military divorce understands all too well the ramifications of their situation.

A recently published article reported on results from a study of active duty military families who have faced long deployments. The results showed a direct impact on the length of deployment and the rate of divorce. Couples who have experienced a greater number and longer durations of deployments are more likely to divorce. Additionally, the military divorce rate increases when the deployment involves combat or the wife being deployed. When those two factors are put together—the wife being deployed to a combat situation—the chance of divorce rises to 50 percent within the initial five years of the marriage.

Statistics showed a general trend toward more military divorces between 2001 and 2011 but a slight decrease in 2012. In 2001, 2.6 percent of military personnel divorced compared with 3.7 percent in 2011. There was also a greater instance of divorce noted for couples who were married before 9/11.

Couples facing a military divorce encounter unique family law matters from military benefits to custody issues that can be affected by deployments. If you are considering a divorce and you or your spouse are in the armed services, you may wish to consult with an attorney who understands the special military regulations and other needs you will face.

Source: USA Today, “Study Long, frequent deployments hurt military marriages,” Gregg Zoroya, September 3, 2013

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