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Military divorce rates compared to national averages

| Jun 29, 2021 | Divorce

Researchers determined that military couples file for divorce more often than civilians. According to the Census Bureau’s Public Use Microdata Sample and as reported by MarketWatch, supervisors of first-line enlisted troops showed a 30% divorce rate.

The U.S. military contributed to three of the top 10 careers in which a divorce occurred. Individuals enlisted in fields involving air weapons and tactical operations reportedly experienced significantly higher divorce rates.

Specific factors may contribute to breakups

The Census Bureau study found that the average age for divorce is 30, and first-time marriages reflected approximately 41% of the breakups. Stress, mental health issues and insufficient income were contributing factors.

Service members deployed away from home faced higher rates of divorce, according to the Journal of Population Economics. Working under dangerous conditions may also lead to stress or depression that can affect a couple’s ability to interact the way they did when they first met.

Female enlisted troops show higher divorce rates

According to Military.com, data provided by the Pentagon revealed that female troop members experienced almost three times as many divorces as males in 2019. For both male and female service members, 1.7% of officers divorced compared to 3.5% of enlisted troops.

Statistics show higher divorce rates among enlisted troops under the age of 30. Members of the Navy had the lowest divorce rate at 2.8%. Enlisted members of the Marine Corps and the Air Force tied with a 3.3% marriage dissolution rate in 2019.

A range of factors can lead to divorce, and members of the military face the additional challenge of lengthy separations from spouses and children, hazardous duty and exposure to extreme circumstances that may lead to chronic illnesses. The financial and emotional issues that accompany a military divorce could become overwhelming. The support options and legal issues involved may require careful consideration.

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