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Miltary couples likely to divorce after long deployment

Any Washington resident who is in the military or has a military spouse may find a study by the RAND Corporation interesting. Researchers evaluated the correlation between divorce and deployment during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

More than 462,000 members of the military were studied. Researchers looked at couples who married between March 1999 and June 2008. Twenty-eight percent of couples who married prior to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks divorced within three years if at least one spouse was deployed for at least 12 months. For couples that married after Sept. 11, 2001, the divorce rate was lower. However, these couples still had a higher divorce rate than couples where neither spouse was deployed for at least a year. The evidence suggests that service members who married before the terrorist attacks where less prepared for the toll that deployment can take on a marriage.

The likelihood that a couple would divorce increased with the duration of the deployment. The vast majority of these divorces occurred after the service member returned from deployment. The divorce rate was higher for couples where it was the wife who was deployed and lower for couples with children.

Being in the military can present unique challenges to a divorce due to issues such as Basic Allowance for Housing, military pensions, military retirement and the impact of frequent transfers or deployment on the service member's relationship with children. A family law attorney who has experience helping military families may be able to help negotiate a settlement that takes these issues into consideration. An attorney may also be able to help explain how being in the military can affect divorce and provide advice and assistance throughout the process.

Source: Huffington Post, "Military Divorce Risk Increases With Lengthy Deployments", September 03, 2013