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Military divorce rates differ for men and women

6568349_S.jpgFamilies represent a critical support system for military personnel in Illinois, but not all marriages withstand the extra pressures of serving the country. The Pentagon tracks divorce rates among all service members and separates figures for men and women. In 2016, divorces among men in the military remained stable at 2.6 percent. Divorces among servicewomen, however, rose in 2016 to 6.6 percent from 6.2 percent in 2015.

The Defense Manpower Data Center collects the data about military divorces. The rate is calculated every fiscal year by comparing the number of married personnel to the number of reported divorces. A researcher with RAND Corp. said that 2016 proved to be a bad year for marriages among female personnel. Every branch of service saw an increase in divorces for women. In general, among enlisted troops, women have always had higher divorces rates than the men. In 2016, 2.8 percent of enlisted men got a divorce whereas 8 percent of enlisted women saw their marriages end.

The researcher spotted a troubling trend within the Marine Corps where both men and women experienced a rise in divorces in 2016. The rate of divorce for male Marines rose from 2.3 percent in 2015 to 2.8 percent, and 7.7 percent of female Marines got a divorce in 2016, up from 6.4 percent the previous year.

When a military service member chooses to end a marriage, an attorney familiar with military family law could help the person navigate the division retirement benefits. An attorney could also advise the client about parental rights and promote his or her needs during negotiations about child custody and support, especially when issues like active deployment could come up. Knowledge of legal rights could enable a person to make informed decisions before agreeing to the terms of a divorce settlement.

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