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Stats reveal encouraging and interesting trends in military divorce

As a nation, we are truly indebted to those selfless men and women who choose to serve in our nation's armed forces. That's because we not only appreciate the inherent risks of their calling, but understand how it can sometimes take a toll on their personal lives.

To illustrate, consider that statistics from the Department of Defense show that the rate of military divorce sat at a mere 2.6 percent prior to the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001, and that a decade later it had climbed to an all-time high of 3.7 percent.

As discouraging as these numbers are in retrospect, there may now actually be cause for some optimism concerning the state of military marriages.

The most recent DOD statistics show that the rate of military divorce has fallen slowly but steadily since the high of 2011, and that this decline continued in 2014 with the divorce rate among the ranks of enlisted personnel and officers hitting 3.1 percent, the lowest since 2005.

What makes this all the more remarkable is that the dip in military divorces was driven by a drop in splits involving female armed forces members.

Indeed, the rate of divorce involving male armed forces members fell by .3 percent in 2014 and has only declined by five percent since 2011, while the rate of divorce involving female armed forces members has declined from eight percent in 2011 to 6.5 percent in 2014.  

While you would think that there would be some sort of explanation for this trend, researchers actually appear to be at something of a loss.

It's certainly encouraging to see these rates continue to decline. However, those military couples for whom reconciliation is impossible should strongly consider speaking with a skilled legal professional to learn more about their rights as they relate to divorce.

Source: Fox News, "Military divorce rate hits lowest level in 10 years," Amy Bushatz, March 4, 2014

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