Divorce is one of those things that is really hard to categorize. Certainly, there are some people in Joliet for whom divorce is a good thing -- together, the husband and wife decided it was best for them to no longer remain married and a divorce will allow them greater freedom and the chance for a new, more fulfilling relationship. But in the case of military personnel, divorce can be very difficult. When things are already uncertain, as they are when a military member is serving abroad and doesn't know what the next day holds, adding the complication of a divorce can be bad news.
That is why a recent report that found that the rate of divorce among military personnel is at its highest level since 1999 may cause some concern. As we said, in many cases, divorce is a positive thing because it allows both people to move on and perhaps improve their lives. But once again, we want to do everything we can to keep our soldiers safe and satisfied. If a divorce adds distraction or stress to military personnel's lives, that is not a positive development.
The report, issued by the Pentagon, found that almost 30,000 military marriages ended in the fiscal year 2011. The divorce rate among military personnel is now at 3.7 percent, which is 0.2 percent higher than the civilian rate of 3.5 percent.
A chaplain with the U.S. Army said one possible reason for the uptick in military divorce is that as troops withdraw from war zones, family members who have not spent much time together lately are reuniting and, in some cases, realizing that things have changed.
One way many couples have found to minimize the disruption that may come with a divorce is to find an attorney whom they trust and respect. Working closely with such an attorney can make people feel like they are in control of the divorce process, and that can really reduce feelings of uncertainty and helplessness.
Source: USA Today, "Military divorce rate at highest level since 1999," Gegg Zoroya, Dec. 15, 2011