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Military divorce: On a decline but still a prevalent issue

There are many active military service members in Texas, many of whom are at Fort Hood and other bases throughout the state. Some military families choose to live off base. It is debatable whether one lifestyle is more beneficial than the other.

Either way, military life can put a strain on your marriage; however, in the past 10 years, the rate of military divorce has been on a steady but slow decline.

How the Pentagon determines divorce numbers

The way the military calculates its divorce rate is by taking the total number of married members at the beginning of a fiscal year and comparing it to the total number of reported divorces filed by the end of the same year. The military also tracks your data in subcategories, such as your gender and rank. Female officers and enlisted troops reportedly divorce at a rate that is twice as high as their male counterparts.

Further study needed

A Pentagon representative who studies divorce trends in the military says he thinks there needs to be more examination of couples who transition into civilian life after service. He also stated that he suspects the stress involved with such transitions often places irreversible strain on marriages, which military service does not directly cause.

Skewed rates are possible because, if you're a spouse serving active duty at the start of a fiscal year who transitions back into civilian life and then gets divorced, it should not be considered a military divorce statistic because the split took place after service was complete.

Divorce is never easy

No matter which category you and your Texas spouse fall under or what issues have sparked marital problems, military divorce is certainly no easier than civilian divorce. Like civilians, military personnel often need added support as they navigate proceedings and adapt to post-divorce lifestyles.

If a deployment occurs during this time, it can further complicate matters. One cannot sue military personnel while serving active duty overseas and unable to appear in a United States court. 

Don't hesitate to reach out

There are resources you can tap into on or off base to provide encouragement and support as you make important, life-changing decisions that will affect your family and your career. It's also helpful to talk to fellow service members or spouses who can relate to your current situation and, perhaps, share what did and did not work for them.

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