Military Divorce Rates on the Rise in 2011

Military divorce rates reached a record 12-year high in 2011, with one in every 27 married troops getting divorced this past year, according to a new report from the U.S. Defense Department. The military divorce rate of 3.7 percent now stands slightly higher than national divorce rate of 3.5 percent and officials expect to see this number continue to rise as troops return home from service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Among the revealing statistics contained in Defense Department data:

  • Members of the Air Force have the highest divorce rate (3.9 percent), up slightly from 3.8 percent in 2010.
  • The U.S. Marine Corps is the only service branch to see a decline in divorces: the 2011 divorce rate stood at 3.8 percent, a slight dip from 3.6 percent in 2010.
  • Among officers, the divorce rate lifted to 2.1 percent in 2011 from 1.9 percent in 2010.
  • Among enlisted service members, the divorce rate remained flat this year at 4.1 percent.
  • Overall, there were approximately 30,000 military divorces in 2011, data shows.

Interestingly, gender also played a significant role in rising military divorce rates, with women in the military demonstrating the most divorces overall. As USA Today reports, close to one in 10 marriages of female service members, or roughly 10 percent, ended in divorce this past year.

Officials also predict that military divorce rates will likely remain high as troops continue to return from the Middle East and reunite with families and spouses from whom they have been apart.

“As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan draw down, we’re going to put more families together who haven’t been used to being together,” a spokesman for the Army Office of the Chief of Chaplains said at a press conference this week.

Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group has extensive experience helping our servicemen and women through their divorce matters, whether or not they remain on active duty. We understand the intricacies unique to each branch of the armed forces and appreciate the need to obtain resolution with honor and dignity.

For more information specific to the military divorce process in New Jersey, please read our “New Jersey Out-of-State, International, Military Divorce” page and feel free to contact us with any questions specific to your marital situation.

Sources:
USA Today News – Military Divorce Rate Increases: http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/story/2011-12-13/military-divorce-rate-increases/51888872/1

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