Every year, thousands of brave men and women across the state of Texas and beyond join the armed forces and commit their lives to defending our country. And for every newly enlisted service member there is a military family dealing with the everyday uncertainties and hardships associated with issues like deployment and combat. While military divorces are similar to civilian divorces in many ways, they also differ profoundly on several levels.
Unfortunately, military marriages are often subjected to a number of factors that are known to contribute to divorce. One study conducted by the RAND Corp. found that deployment lengths played a major role in military divorce rates, USA Today states. The study spanned a nine-year period and investigated 460,000 military marriages. In regards to female service members, researchers found that combat deployment increased the chance of divorce to 50 percent. Looking at deployment rates following 9/11, the study also concluded that the nature and length of combat deployment had a major impact on divorce rates throughout all branches of the military.
The statistics provided in the RAND Corp. study illustrate the prevalence of military divorce throughout the country. That is why it is important for service members and military spouses to understand basic military family law guidelines. According to Findlaw, state and federal laws govern various aspects of military divorce proceedings. For instance, divorcing military couples have several options when it comes to filing for divorce. Parties can file in the state where the service member maintains legal residency, where the service member is stationed, or where the spouse lives. Consequently, it is important to note that the family law guidelines of the state where the divorce suit is submitted apply in the case.
When it comes to property division and other aspects of the divorce settlement, service members and military spouses have a number of other unique factors to take into consideration, such as pension benefits and military base privileges. The length of the marriage, as well as the number of years served in the military, also factor into whether and how military benefits are divided between divorcing parties.