Marital strife, separation, and divorce can affect all types of families, and a study shows divorces within military families have been on the rise in the last few years. In fact, the study reflects high divorce rates among families that in the past have been found to be more stable. Length of deployment was considered a major factor in most of these military divorces. Post-traumatic stress disorder and other health issues were also cited factors.
The reasoning behind the increased divorce rate is linked to the continual withdrawal of troops from the conflict areas of Iraq and Afghanistan. Families who have been apart for many years are now being brought back together and is therefore creating an adjustment period and causing marital strife rather than marital unity.
The Divorce Rate Throughout the Military
The divorce rate on average, throughout all branches of the military, was 3.7 percent in 2011. In 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated a divorce rate of 3.5 percent, showing an increase within the last few years. Specific divisions of the military reflect different percentages and are as follows:
Army divorce rate: 3.7 percent;
Navy divorce rate: 3.6 percent;
Air Force divorce rate: 3.9 percent; and
Marine Corps divorce rate: 3.8 percent.
Military Marriages vs. Civilian Marriages
Though war is an easy scapegoat for the reasoning behind military divorces, military divorces in comparison to civilian divorces are much lower and less likely to occur. In a study published by the Journal of Family Issues, and comparing military marriages and civilian marriages, the data reflected that military personnel were more likely than civilians to get married, and they were less likely to be divorced.
The study shows that although military life can be more difficult and less predictable than civilian life, the United States military has made attempts to be more family-friendly in an attempt to continue enlisting service members and retaining them. The economic benefits of health insurance, child-care, and housing provide incentive to service members to wed.
However, service members involved in the the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are a part of a significantly different military than when the all-volunteer military initially was created. The service members in Iraq and Afghanistan are seeing significantly longer deployments and more significant exposure to combat than their counterparts from 20 years ago.
Issues and Considerations when Deciding to Divorce Your Spouse
If you are considering a divorce and you are a spouse in a military marriage, there are some considerations to keep in mind in regards to asset division and benefits provided. For example:
Military retirement pay and military pensions are considered marital property and may be divided by state courts;
Military retirement pay may only be divided by state courts if state courts have jurisdiction over the service member because the state was his/her residence, domicile, or he/she gave consent to the state court to have jurisdiction; and
Military retirement pay and pensions are only considered marital property, however, when the couple has been married for 10 years and the military spouse’s service period is during the time the couple was married.
Divorce Advocates Available for Consultation
These are just some of the important considerations to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to file for divorce, regardless of coming from a military marriage or civilian marriage. The experienced Lombard family law attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC are well versed in the separation and divorce procedures and will be able to guide you through this difficult time. Please contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC for further information and a consultation.
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