The military divorce rate — nearly 30,000 in 2011 — has hit its highest level since 1999 (3.5%) and with the drawdowns in the Middle East, a lack of external family support may cause a further rise in the rate. While the overall rate is 3.7%, the Air Force rate is the highest at 3.9%, with the Navy at 3.6% and the Army at 3.7%. Enlisted women across the military make up the highest rate at nearly 1 in 10. The Marine Corp. remains the same at 3.8%. The Reserve component – the National Guard and the Reserves – constitute the remainder of the military.
There are several reasons for the rise in rate: “interim” relationships often form when military personnel are away, which require dissolution for the marriage to continue; service members often develop stress upon returning home after roughly a year in service, or being assigned to billets and bedrooms in unfamiliar surroundings; and the stay-at-home party may encounter stress after having been solely responsible for domestic matters including raising children as well as holding down a job. The result may be separation, interim support, domestic violence, temporary custody and many more issues.
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, James Roy, said seeking out help is the best thing [servicemembers] can do if they are struggling in their marriage. “It’s never easy to be separated from your loved ones, but there are helping agencies that assist in working through tough situations and build resilient [servicemembers] and families,” he stated. “I encourage all [servicemembers] and their families to seek help if they find themselves having difficulties.
As cited in his article ‘Military Divorce: Returning Servicemembers and “the Home Front,”’ family lawyers will be faced with a plethora of confusing rules, laws, cases and problems and must
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