Fewer military spouses are got divorced in fiscal year 2013 compared to prior years, according to an article in the Military Times. The divorce rate for men and women in the services was 3.4%, down a tenth of a percent from 2012. About 7.2% women serving in the military informed the Department of Defense (DoD) they were divorced in fiscal 2013, according to DoD, down from 8% in 2011.

Divorce rates among military members are not uniform, according to the DoD data.

  • While 7.2% of military women reported divorces, only 2.9% of men did the same.
  • Enlisted troops were more likely to get divorced compared to officers, 3.8% vs. 1.9%.
  • The highest divorce rate was among Air Force enlisted members at 4.3%.
  • Those married before 2001 had a higher divorce rate than those married afterward.

A recent study by the Rand Corp. funded by the DoD documented a direct correlation between cumulative time spent on deployment and the chances of a military marriage ending in divorce. According to the report, with military involvement in Iraq substantially curtailed and troops withdrawing from Afghanistan, deployments are less frequent for many service members, so military families should be less stressful than at the height of the Iraq war. The study also suggested that military family programs have improved significantly, which should help married couples stay together.

It’s hard to compare military and civilian divorce rates because the civilian world does not track data like DoD and the military population is demographically very different than the public at large. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 6.8 divorces for every thousand people in the U.S. in 2011.

If you’re a member of the military, or retired from the military, or you’re married to a current or retired member of the military, and you have questions about divorce, contact your office for a free consultation.


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