Marrying someone who is a member of the military may mean long separations and high stress levels. Some may even wonder whether their marriage can survive. You’ve probably heard rumors that military marriages experience extraordinarily high divorce rates, or that only the strongest make it through.
So, what’s the real truth? Do military marriages go hand-in-hand with divorce courts? Over the years, numerous researchers and experts have attempted to establish whether a high number of military marriages end in divorce.
Active and retired military personnel facing a divorce might benefit from the advice of a divorce attorney in Monroe, NC.
What Is The Divorce Rate In The Military?
The rates of divorce among active-duty American military members reduced slightly in 2018. That’s according to data provided by the U.S. Department of Defense. The drop is a continuation of the downward trend that started a decade ago.
Researchers compare married active-duty troops at the beginning of a fiscal year with those who are divorced at the year’s end. They do so to determine the yearly military divorce rate. Defense Department stats indicate that 3% of troops who were married at 2018’s start had divorced by the year’s end. That percentage is a 0.1% dip from 2017.
The divorce data is categorized according to military branch, rank and gender. But, the simplest way for researchers to identify trends is by tracking data on the largest sub-group, i.e., enlisted male soldiers. In 2009, the divorce rate for active-duty male soldiers was 3.3%, but in 2018 it reduced to 2.7%.
On the other hand, the divorce rate stood at 6.3% in 2018 for female officers and enlisted soldiers. However, female military members are fewer than the male troops.
Common Marital Problems in Military Marriages
Marital issues linked to deployment and military service may include:
- Struggles associated with service-caused post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety or depression
- Caregiving difficulties and adjustments if a troop member is injured
- The spouse that stays at home may feel isolation and resentment
- Infidelity linked to long periods of separation
- The “rollercoaster effect” of the upsides and downsides that come with deployment
Of course, extended military deployments may bring a permanent strain on any marriage. Besides separation from their family and constant exposure to danger, deployed troops also may face physical and mental issues upon their return. PTSD is a common health challenge that isn’t easy to live with.
Even when military service members stay stateside, multiple moves and financial problems are primary causes of marital strain. Entering marriage young, probably because a troop is nearing transfer or deployment may also increase divorce risks.
Couples may be able to decrease the strain on their relationship through the following ways:
- Take advantage of the helpful support programs offered by the armed forces
- Make a conscious effort to maintain a connection when apart by using tools such as care packages and sharing memories
- Reach out for help from friends, family and military programs
- Educate themselves on the deployment stages and typical reactions to those phases, so that they know they’re not alone
Military divorce comes with its own set of circumstances. However, the non-military spouse may be entitled to certain military benefits. Additionally, both spouses can turn to the military counseling services and support groups for assistance.
A divorce lawyer in Monroe, NC with experience tackling military divorces may help you acquire the benefits and resources you need. Contact Perry, Bundy, Plyler & Long, LLP for a confidential consultation.