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Why are divorce rates for female servicemembers rising?

In 2016, about 6.6 percent of female service members got divorced compared to about 2.6 percent of males. For military men, there was no change in the percentage of divorces since 2013; however, the percent of military women who divorced rose by almost half a percent from 2015. What is the reason for the slight, but noticeable, increase?

A RAND Corp researcher who studies military divorce said, "For the men, it's quite stable, but for the women, this wasn't a great year. You see a notable increase in every active-duty service, and you see the end of what had been a yearly decline in the Army."

Last year, the only service that had an overall divorce increase was the Marine Corps. The percentage of male Marines who divorced rose by half a percent, while the percentage of female Marines saw an increase of 1.3 percent. The researcher said that the increase could indicate that marriages in the Marine Corps are under some kind of negative pressure. Overall, he said that the economy and civilian marital counseling must be looked at to determine why the increase happened.

The total divorce rate in the U.S. and the military divorce rate are not easy to compare. For one thing, five states are not included in the U.S. divorce rate. That rate in 2014 -- the last year the divorce rate was available -- was 3.2 percent.

If you are in a military marriage and want a divorce, it is important to find an attorney with experience in military divorce. There are several factors that must be considered that are not applicable to civilian marriages.

A spokesman for the Pentagon said that these percentages should remind people of just how much of a sacrifice military life is.

Source:, "Female Troop Divorce Up Slightly, Male Rate Largely Unchanged," Amy Bushatz, accessed June 30, 2017

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