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Drop in Military Divorce Rate

How often do military spouses get divorced in Florida? According to a recent article from, the military divorce rate is at its “lowest level in 10 years.” To be sure, based on data released from the Department of Defense, the divorce rate among military couples dropped again from last year, allowing the military divorce rate to reach “its lowest point since 2005.”

Differing Rates of Military Divorce

According to the Defense Department records, differences in the divorce rate between officers and enlisted members of the military were negligible. As the Pentagon explained, “the divorce rate among both officers and enlisted men and women over 2014 was 3.1 percent,” which was “only slightly higher than the 2005 rate of 3 percent.”

Now, the new statistics show an overall decline over the last four years. In 2011, military divorce “reached a high water mark of 3.7 percent.” The rate was at its lowest back in 2001 at 2.6 percent, when the U.S. recently had entered into war in Afghanistan.

Has the military been taking certain steps to lower the rate of divorce? And is there actually a correlation among divorce rates, deployments, and wartime? According to a Pentagon spokesperson, “the health and well-being of service members and their families is a priority.” Indeed, as the official explained, “strong relationships are important to our readiness.” But has there been a shift in the way certain service members think about marriage in relation to their service?

While the recent numbers don’t draw clear distinctions between divorce rate and military rank, they do indicate a gender-related distinction. To be sure, officials at the Pentagon emphasize that “the declining rate is largely due to a major drop in the divorce rate among married female troops.”

Drops in Divorce Rates for Women in the Military

The article emphasizes that fewer women in the military are filing for divorce than are men in the military. As the divorce rates decline for women in the military, they’re dropping by far fewer points when it comes to male service members. For men in the military, the divorce rate dropped by only 0.3 percent since last year, and the decline since 2011—the year with the highest recent divorce rate—has only been about 0.5 percent.

Traditionally, women in the military have had higher divorce rates than male counterparts. In 2011, the female divorce rate was at 8 percent for both officers and enlisted service members, and it dropped to 6.5 percent last year. And studies suggest that certain branches of the military have been more affected than others, as “the biggest decline has been among married female Marines.”

Experts have noted the trend, but they don’t feel as though they’re ready to account for it. According to Benjamin Karney, a researcher with the RAND Corp., “across all branches, divorce rates for males have been relatively flat,” but “something else is going on for females.” As he articulated, “across all branches, divorce rates for female service members have been declining substantially.” While Karney emphasized the clear trend, he also noted, “I am not sure how to account for it.”

Are you considering filing for divorce? Military divorces present distinct issues and complications. As such, it’s extremely important to discuss your case with an experienced military divorce attorney. Contact the Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood Law Offices of Steven A. Mason, P.A. for legal advice at 954-963-5900 or leave a message online.

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