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For many military couples, stresses of deployment are too great

For any couple, maintaining a healthy marriage can at times be challenging. Life gets busy and frequently matters related to work, children and daily responsibilities leave little time for a couple to communicate and stay connected. When one spouse is a member of the military and facing deployment, these problems are often exacerbated and increasingly difficult to manage.

Military deployments affect all members of a family. A military spouse is likely dealing with numerous physical and mental stressors that accompany being deployed to a foreign country and carrying out often dangerous military operations. Additionally, he or she is likely to worry about how a civilian spouse and children are adjusting and coping back home.

A civilian spouse may struggle to adjust to the many new responsibilities that he or she must take on in a spouse’s absence. Additionally, children are likely to miss a father or mother and may act out and require extra discipline and attention. Attempting to communicate with a deployed spouse is also challenging as telephone and computer access may be limited or unavailable. When spouses are able to write or talk to one another, they may feel disconnected as a military spouse is unable or not allowed to discuss aspects of his or her daily life.

While some military spouses are able to make it through long deployments by focusing on both the memories of the past and hopes of the future, for many the challenges that accompany a long deployment prove to be too much for a marriage to sustain.

A civilian spouse who plans to file for divorce from a deployed military spouse would be wise to retain an attorney who handles military divorces. In cases where a spouse is deployed, the divorce process is likely to be delayed until his or her return to the states. Due to the unique responsibilities associated with being an active member of the U.S. military, other aspects related to matters like child custody and the division of property and assets are different from a normal divorce between two civilians.

Source: TwoOfUs.org, “Tips for Married Couples Dealing With Deployment,” 2014