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Military divorce rates trending downward

Alaska residents may have heard about the declining divorce rate among members of the U.S. military. The decline has been slowly occurring, with 2015 marking the lowest rate in several years.

In 2015, the divorce rate among enlisted troops and officers was 3 percent compared to 3.1 percent in 2014. Some observers believe that the decline might be because there may be less stress amount military families.

The largest group in the military with the fewest incidents of divorce was female sailors. Among this group, 7.5 percent, or slightly more than 1,000 enlisted female sailors became divorced in 2014. Then in 2014, that rate fell to 6.5 percent. Research indicates that this decline may be due to policy changes affecting women in the military, such as the military's efforts to stop sexual assaults and introduce ways whereby family life can be improved.

To many people, a divorce is an unplanned for and unexpected event in their lives, and can be especially hard for those who are actively serving in the military. When children are involved, it can be even more difficult. While many people seeking a divorce will have to iron out agreements involving support orders, child custody orders and parenting plans, other couples may have to deal with how they are going to fairly distribute their assets.

There are some differences between a military divorce and a civilian one. One key difference is the division of military pensions. A person who is considering divorcing a service member may want to have the assistance of an attorney who has experience with these procedures.

Source: MIlitary, "Military Divorce Rate Continues Slow But Steady Decline", Amy Bushatz, April 22, 2016

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