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Military divorce rates steady but marriages down

Military service members in Alaska may experience challenges that put pressure on their marital relationships. The Pentagon tracks marriages and divorces among military personnel, and it reported no significant change in the overall divorce rate among military personnel between 2016 and 2017.

Out of 689,060 married troops, 21,290 people completed divorces in fiscal year 2017. For 2016, 22,500 divorces occurred among a population of 707,230 married service members. These figures place the annual divorce rate at about 3 percent, but differences emerge when looking at the data by gender. Female military members get divorced much more often than their male colleagues. Within the Army, women have a divorce rate 275 percent higher than men. Women in the Marine Corps have the highest rate of divorce currently at 7.1 percent. A researcher with Rand Corp. said that the data suggests that policies within the Marine Corps could make it difficult for women to maintain marriages.

The rate of marriage within the military has dipped as well. During 2017, 51.7 percent of active-duty personnel were married, but, in 2011, 56.6 percent of troops were married. This decline in marriage numbers mirrors the same trend among civilians, who are choosing marriage less often. Additionally, newer recruits tend to place higher priority on their military careers.

When a person in the military chooses to end a marriage, federal laws as well as state laws will apply to the divorce. Services from a family law firm representing military members may aid a person navigating issues like the division of a military pension and child support. An attorney may strive to protect a person's interests and secure an equitable divorce settlement that does not inflict financial harm and protects a person's parental rights.

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