Earlier this year, the Pentagon released data showing that divorce rates amongst military personnel had declined for the first time in over a decade. In 2012, the rate of divorce amongst military personnel was 3.5 percent. Between 2001 and 2011, military divorces increased every year, starting at 2.6 percent and topping off at 3.7 percent.
Female soldiers and Marines experience the highest rates of divorce within the military at 9.4 and 9.3 percent respectively.
Historically, female soldiers and Marines have had the highest rates of divorce amongst military personnel. In 2012, the rate of divorce for female soldiers was 9.4 percent and the rate of divorce for Marines was 9.3 percent. Female soldiers’ divorce rate was three times that of their male counterparts. Still, these divorce rates also declined from 2011 when the rates of divorce amongst female soldiers and Marines was 9.6 and 9.8 percent.
Military divorce rates cannot be compared to civilian rates.
Military and civilian divorce rates cannot be accurately compared because they are calculated differently. The divorce rate amongst military personnel is measured by determining the difference in the number of married military personnel in the beginning of the year versus the end of the year. This number is then adjusted for attrition, new recruits, and new marriages. This is not the same method used to calculate civilian divorce rates
New military programs and fewer deployments may have lead to healthier marriages amongst military personnel.
In an article published by military.com, one divorce attorney who was interviewed suggested that the young age of military personnel makes it difficult for them to handle the stress of long separations from their partners. As deployments become shorter and less frequent, less strain is placed on young military couples.
In addition, military officials attribute the decline in divorce rates to the success of new programs that seek to provide support to married couples and to promote the emotional health of military personnel. One such program is the Army’s Strong Bond program that takes participants on a weekend retreat where they are partake in relationship building classes.
An attorney can help military personnel and their spouses through the divorce process.
Washington D.C. and its surrounding areas are home to nearly 20 military installations. In addition, many retired military personnel move to this area in order to work for variety federal government agencies.
Active or retired military personnel living with the Washington D.C. area may be eligible to file for divorce in the jurisdiction where they are currently living. In addition, military personnel who are from the Washington D.C. area, but stationed elsewhere may be eligible to file for divorce in their home state or the District.
If you are an active or retired member of the military who is considered filing for divorce you should speak to an attorney immediately. An attorney can help you determine your options for where to file you divorce and go over the pros and cons of each option with you. In addition, an attorney can help you navigate issues that are specific to military divorces such as the division of military retirement pay and pensions.