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Air Force hoping to continue downward trend of divorce

When it comes to the divorce, most of us are familiar with the rate being placed at around 50 percent, though the number varies. In the military, where the numbers are tracked more closely, it is quite a different story. For instance, according to the Defense Manpower Data Center, the rate in the Air Force was 4.3 percent for enlisted airmen and 1.5 for officers. The rate is highest among enlisted women, though it isn’t exactly clear why.

Generally speaking, divorce is higher among Air Force members who have the busiest jobs. This includes security forces, clinical nurses, propulsion maintainers and client systems airmen. Overall, the Air Force has a relatively high divorce rate when compared to other branches, though the rate has been on the decrease since 2011. This is a trend the Air Force is hoping to keep going through programs that help to strengthen marriages among its members. 

Divorce rates aside, military divorce can present unique challenges which civilian divorces does not. These include jurisdiction and division of military pensions after divorce; child custody, especially as impacted by military deployment; and tax issues with respect to child support. Needless to say, navigating the laws pertaining to these and other issues in military divorce is not necessarily easy.

Those serving in the military need to have an advocate at their side when going through divorce, whether. A good advocate will understand the unique issues at play in military divorce and will understand how to effectively advocate for a client’s interests.

Source: Air Force Times, “Divorce and the Air Force: Who stays married and who doesn’t,” April 28, 2014. 

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