Oct 02, 2008

Divorce and the Military

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There are over a million active duty service members in the U.S. Armed Forces today, many serving in high-stress areas like Iraq and Afghanistan. Perhaps surprisingly, the rate of divorce generally among service members is comparable to that in the general population (although there was a sharp increase between 2001 and 2004, a period when deployments increased significantly). But within the military, women divorce at nearly twice the rate of men. There's lots of speculation about why in this article at Divorce360.com, but no solid answers.

Numbers aside, the reality is that divorce raises special issues for military spouses in almost every aspect of the divorce process, including calculating support, dividing property, establishing a parenting plan, and dealing with retirement and insurance benefits. The Armed Services Legal Assistance Office provides some help for military families going through divorce, and there are websites that offer free legal information as well. Also check out Nolo's Essential Guide to Divorce -- the updated 2nd Edition has a new chapter on military divorce.

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