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Military divorce trends inspire cautious optimism

Marriage isn’t easy for many people. Various things can end marriages, some of the more common being stress and money. When one or two spouses are in the military, those stresses definitely come into play. Time away from each other can also change a marriage.

History shows that divorce among military families is not uncommon. Recent military divorce numbers, however, suggest that more military families are staying together. The following are some of the specific findings regarding the matter:

  • The 2001 divorce rate among military families was 2.6 percent.
  • The 2011 divorce rate among military families was 3.7 percent.
  • The 2012 divorce rate among military families was 3.5 percent.
  • Female service members are significantly more likely to divorce than male service members.

As the numbers above show, the 2012 military divorce rate is still higher than it was a decade ago and only slightly lower than in 2011. Researchers, therefore, are only cautiously optimistic about trends among military families. A theory is that the rate would continue to decrease if the number and length of deployments continue to decrease.

There aren’t only particular stresses that military families must deal with that civilian families don’t (such as time apart). There are also specific family law differences that go into a military divorce. Service members have rights to financial benefits that civilians do not, making for special consideration to be given to matters such as military commissionary benefits, retirement benefits, tricare health care benefits and more.

Our Texas military family law attorneys are experienced in handling the more complex financial matters related to military divorces as well as the more personal matters such as child custody.

Source:, “Military Divorce Rate Down Slightly in 2012,” Amy Bushatz, Jan. 23, 2013

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