Does a Military Career Increase Your Chances of Divorcing in Massachusetts?

| Sep 1, 2017 | Military Divorce |

According to a recent analysis, workers in certain fields are seeing higher divorce rates by age 30. The highest divorce rate was for first-line enlisted military supervisors. They had a divorce rate of 30%. The occupation involves leading operations and coordinating the activities of enlisted military personnel.

The next highest rates came from careers including logisticians, automotive service technicians and mechanics, followed by military-enlisted tactical operations and air weapons. In fact, military jobs took three of the top 10 spots in its listing.

Across all fields, military workers of all ranks were most likely to be divorced by age 30, at a rate of 15%. The average age for divorce is 30 and roughly 41% of first marriages end in divorce.

So Why Military?

Much like the overall divorce rate, the answer isn’t totally clear, but most think it lies in the stress caused by active service coupled with the military’s tendency to recruit people who are already vulnerable to emotional or financial instability which can both be contributing factors to unhappy or failed marriages.

Divorce rates for the military versus those for civilians are difficult to compare, due to the way that they are tracked. Studies have found that divorce rates tend to be lower for enlisted men and higher for enlisted women in comparison to equivalent civilians, while veterans across genders have higher divorce rates than civilians.

The military itself actually encourages marriage by way of both material benefits as well as cultural traditions that place a high value on marriage.

These marriages are often tested by issues such as deployments, frequent moves, and difficulty with reintegrating the enlisted spouse back into the family’s daily life when they return home.

Divorce rates for military members who have been deployed are higher: It’s 12.52% for those in the U.S. Navy, 8.9% in the Marines, 8.48% in the Army and 14.6% in Air Force, according to Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch data.

With the service member being gone from the house as often as they are, this leaves the spouse with the responsibility of defining what normalcy is within the household, and also gives this person the capacity to assist the service member with getting back into their “normal” life by letting them complete household chores, integrating them back into the family dynamic in a meaningful and measurable way.

Mental health issues put additional strain on marriage, with 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans reporting experiences with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

There are many considerations that an experienced attorney will need to discuss with service-members and their spouses over the course of a divorce. Being aware of your rights and how the law impacts you as a member of the military or the spouse is essential to making a good and informed decision about how your post-divorce life planning should take shape to rebuild for the future.

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