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Military divorce rate continues steady decline

The divorce rate for active duty troops has been on a slow decline for 10 years, according to a Rand Corporation researcher. This trend could have an impact on military personnel in Florida. The overall military divorce rate is computed by comparing the number of service members who were married at the beginning of the year with the number who reported getting divorced by the end of the year. The Pentagon maintains data broken down by branch of service, gender and officer or enlisted.

According to the researcher, the most telling way to track the rate overall is to look at male enlisted soldiers, which is the largest subgroup. During the year 2009, the divorce rate among enlisted men was 3.3%. In the 10 years since, the rate has fallen to 2.7%. Among female soldiers, the divorce rate has consistently been higher than among male soldiers. In 2018, 6.3% of female soldiers got divorced, compared with 2.6% of male soldiers.

It may be that the stress of leaving the military, and thereby losing military benefits, can lead to divorce in some cases. The military divorce rate and the overall national divorce rate are not readily comparable because they are measured differently. The national divorce rate is calculated per 1,000 residents and does not include data from five states. For 2016, the national divorce rate was 3.2%.

A military member who is going through a divorce might want to meet with an attorney. Legal counsel with experience handling military divorce cases might assist by analyzing the financial and lifestyle situation of the parties. If necessary, the lawyer could also negotiate the terms of property division.

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