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Why is military service hazardous to a marriage?

Being in the military is not just a career choice -- it's a way of life. Anyone who has been a service member or has one in their family is well aware of that. Serving in the military can also take its toll on a marriage.

A recently-published study of the careers with the highest divorce rate found that three of the top ten professions involved military service. The study, published by career website Zippia, analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau, looking at people who divorced before they turned 30.

Enlisted first-line military supervisors had the highest divorce rate by far, at 30 percent. These are the people who coordinate enlisted personnel's activities and lead operations. Service members who work as mechanics, automotive service technicians and logisticians came in second among military professionals. A more generic category of military personnel of all ranks also made the top ten, with a 15 percent divorce rate.

There are a number of reasons why many service members' marriages don't survive. Obviously, long and multiple deployments to war zones take their toll. Many service members return with mental and/or physical problems. About 20 percent of those who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq have reported suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Even those military professionals who aren't sent overseas often go through multiple moves. This can place stress on a marriage and on the entire family.

Financial issues also impact many military marriages. People in the lower ranks often don't make enough money to support their families. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) reported that approximately $67 million dollars in food stamps was spent in military commissaries last year.

Military divorce has unique challenges along with the usual ones that go with any divorce, such as custody, alimony and property division. This is true both for the service member and the non-service-member spouse. It's also essential to know, however, what military benefits you're entitled to if you divorce someone in the military. An attorney with experience handling military divorces can provide important guidance.

Source: MarketWatch, "Americans in this field have the highest rate of divorce by age 30," Kari Paul, July 15, 2017

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Rioles Law Offices
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Providence, RI 02909

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