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Divorce rate among female service members declining

In a previous blog post, we discussed factors that may contribute to military divorces. For many military couples, a service member's deployment and months spent apart with little contact puts a tremendous strain on a marriage. Additionally, frequent relocations and the stresses associated with the nature of military service duty can also drive a wedge between some spouses.

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Defense reported that, at 3.7 percent, the military divorce rate had reached an all time high. This number represented a significant increase from a rate of 2.6 percent in 2001 prior to the deployment of thousands of U.S. troops to Afghanistan.

More recently, the Defense Department announced that divorce rates in the military had fallen to 3.1 percent, a rate that is nearly equivalent to the military divorce rate of a decade ago. Most notably, the decline in divorces among U.S. troops hasn't appeared to impact military service men, but rather service women. For example, during 2011, the U.S. Marines reported a 9.5 percent divorce rate among female enlistees. However, during 2014, this number dropped significantly to 6.2 percent.

While the Defense Department likely welcomes news of the decline in the rate of military divorces, researches aren't certain of the reasons behind the decline. What is certain is that, for both male and female service members, the roles and responsibilities associated with military service are demanding and require a lot of dedication, time and focus. For these reasons, even the strongest of relationships and marriages may be tested and ultimately end in divorce.

Source: Fox News: Business, "Military Divorce Rate Hits Lowest Level in 10 Years," Amy Bushatz, March 4, 2015

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