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The relationship between divorce and the military

Each year in Alaska, a number of people serving in the military either file for divorce or respond to their spouses' petitions. Military service, while certainly laudable, is associated with a greater likelihood of getting divorced than is civilian life, for a variety of reasons.

People who serve in the military live within a culture that encourages them to mature much more quickly than does civilian culture. Military service members also sometimes marry at young ages, both because being married is encouraged and because the military gives added monetary and financial benefits to service members who are married. This may mean that some people who serve may get married at young ages when they may not have done so if they had not served.

A military member who is in the process of divorce may face stigma from supervisors. Members of the armed forces tend to hold more traditional views of marriage than do members of the population as a whole. According to military rules, people also may end up being court-martialed if they commit adultery. Since some states require people to be legally separated for an extended period before a divorce will be granted, this means that people who file must be celibate in order to comply.

In addition to all of the other issues faced by people going through military divorces, there are also rules that are specific to divorce within the military itself. Asset division may be more complex, especially with regard to military pensions and other types of benefits. People may want to get help from family law attorneys who have experience with these particular issues.

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