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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

Military divorce rates are declining

The responsibilities of active military service members in Tennessee can have a significant effect on their family lives. Researchers who analyze military divorce have speculated that military divorce rates go up during stressful periods when there is a lot of deployment. They can also be affected by policy changes in certain branches of the military.

According to statistics that were released by the Department of Defense in April, the military divorce rate went down slightly in 2015. At an even 3 percent, it was 0.1 percent lower than it was in 2014. The military divorce rate has been going down gradually since 2011, when it peaked at 3.7 percent. In 2001, before the Afghanistan and Iraq wars began, the rate was 2.6 percent.

The DOD statistics for 2015 included specific data on each branch of the military as well as gender-specific data. Divorce rates went down for male officers and troops in every branch of the military. All female troops except for female Marines had declining divorce rates. Enlisted female sailors had the most significant decline in military divorce rates in 2015. The most recent data on the civilian divorce rate, calculated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows that it was 3.2 percent in 2014, although the metrics differ between the two.

Military divorce is different from civilian divorce in some ways. There are issues with the division of military benefits that do not come into play in civilian divorces. In addition, the chances of a military spouse being deployed during divorce proceedings can have a major effect on the process. Accordingly each party should have the separate representation of attorneys who have experience with these matters.

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