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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

Military marriages on the decline

Marriage appears to be less popular among members of the military in Tennessee and across the country. A review of military statistics showed that in 2011, around 56.6 percent of all service members on active duty were married. However, in fiscal year 2017, only 51.7 percent of all troops were married. This trend reflects similar movement in civilian life; around 49 percent of all adults in the United States are married as of 2017.

While the military provides certain incentives for marriage, such as special housing allowances for married couples, military marriage can carry unique challenges. Deployments, separations and intense schedules can put pressure on a marriage and lead to military divorces, especially as military couples often marry earlier in life. The same study found that the divorce rate for members of the military remained relatively stable in 2017; for four years, the divorce rate has stayed between 3 percent and 3.1 percent.

Of the approximately 689,060 married members of the military, 21,290 of them divorced during fiscal year 2017. This marks a slight decline from the prior year, when 22,500 military members divorced, among 707,230 married troops. While the divorce rate remained steady, significant differences were revealed when looking through the lens of gender. Divorce rates for women in the Army are around 275 percent higher than those of men. Women in the Marine Corps have a divorce rate of 7.1 percent that has increased or remained steady since 2012.

When members of the military decide to divorce, there are some important issues to keep in mind during a military divorce. A family law attorney may be able to help service members and their families going through a divorce, including addressing child custody and visitation, property division and other key issues. A lawyer may also help with special matters for military families, including divorces during overseas deployment and protection of parental rights.

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