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Long deployments lead to increased military divorce rate

New Mexico residents with family members in the military may be interested in a study performed by the RAND Corporation. The study looked at the impact of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on service member marriages and divorce rates.

Researchers studied more than 462,400 service members who married between March 1999 and June 2008. It was determined that couples who married before the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11 were more likely to divorce within three years of getting married if either spouse was deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan for at least one year. In total, 28 percent of couples who fit into this category were divorced within three years. The military divorce rate was lower for couples who married after Sept. 11, suggesting that those service members were more prepared to deal with the possibility of being sent away to war after entering the marriage.

The longer a service member was deployed, the more likely a couple would eventually divorce. Of the couples involved in the study, 97 percent of the divorces happened after the service member returned home. Couples with children were less likely to file for divorce, the study found, and couples in which the female partner deployed were more likely to divorce. In 2011, another study of military couples found that the divorce rate rose steadily from 2001 to 2011.

When two individuals make the decision to end their marriage, a family law attorney may be able to help with negotiating difficult issues such as child custody, child support and spousal support. Having an impartial third party guide the negotiations can make the process less emotional. When an agreement cannot be reached, an attorney may also be able to go to court to fight for a fair outcome on behalf of one of the spouses.

Source: Huffington Post, "Military Divorce Risk Increases With Lengthy Deployments", September 03, 2013