U.S. Capital

Pentagon Reports: Military Divorces Drop to Lowest Level in 10 Years

Apr 9, 2015

Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) April 9, 2015 – Divorce is notably less prevalent now than it was 20 to 30 years ago.

The percentage of lasting marriages has been rising in the general population of the United States, particularly among couples who have wed since the 1990s. And on March 4, the Defense Department announced that military divorces, too, have become less common.

In 2014, the number of such breakups dropped to their lowest point since 2005. The Pentagon reported that 3.1 percent of married officers and enlisted service members had divorced by the end of 2014 – a figure that nearly matches the 2005 mark of 3 percent. And while the military divorce rate set last year is still above the recent low (which was 2.6 percent, set in 2001) the 2014 rate represents the third successive drop since the recent high, which stood at 3.7 percent in 2011.

“The rise in divorce rates since 2001 coincide with the inception of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,” said Lisa McDevitt, a prominent attorney in Vienna, Virginia, whose law firm specializes in military divorces. “Tours of duty overseas during periods of conflict can place additional, unique stresses on a marriage involving a member of the military.”

The drop in the divorce rate among male service members was small — down 0.03 percent in 2014 and 0.05 percent since 2011 — maintaining a generally steady rate that the gender has held for years. The decreased divorce rate among female service members was steeper, falling more than a full percentage point.

Indeed, the annual divorce rate among married officer and enlisted female service members fell from 8 percent in 2011 to 6.5 percent in 2014. The drop-off in divorces among female service members has been occurring in all branches of the military, but it is particularly notable among female Marines. In 2011, 9.5 percent of married female Marines filed for divorce; in 2014, 6.2 percent of wedded Marine women divorced their spouses.

The Defense Department figures on military divorces follow studies that have shown the divorce rate in the American civilian population declining over the last 20 years. Not counting those marriages in which a spouse died, approximately 70 percent of couples who married in the 1990s have reached their fifteenth anniversary. In the 1970s and 1980s, 65 percent of nuptials led to an equally enduring marriage.

“While military divorces, like civilian divorces, are becoming less prevalent, the former process still presents different challenges and complexities than civilian breakups,” McDevitt said. “An experienced divorce attorney remains a key resource for anyone seeking a divorce, especially if that person is a service member.”

Learn more at http://www.mcdevittlaw.net

Lisa Lane McDevitt
2155 Bonaventure Drive
Vienna, VA 22181
Phone: 571-271-1446

  • On Healthcare Decisions Day, consider creating an advance directive
    April 16 marks the seventh annual Healthcare Decisions Day in the Commonwealth of Virginia. On that day, related events will raise public awareness of the need to plan ahead for healthcare decisions concerning end-of-life care and for medical issues in circumstances when patients are not able to speak for themselves. Accordingly, the occasion also encourages […]
  • Prenuptial agreements can help couples protect separate assets
    Asset preservation has become an increasingly important factor in marriage as well as estate planning, particularly as divorce and blended families become more common realities in the United States. The rising popularity of prenuptial agreements is a notable reflection of the changing matrimonial landscape in this country. In an October 2013 survey of 1,600 members […]
  • When filing for a divorce, finding fault is not always necessary
    If there was ever an appropriate circumstance, divorce proceedings would seem a prime candidate for an exercise in finger-pointing. However, legally speaking, there are situations in which spouses parting ways should seek what is known as a no-fault divorce. Traditionally, some sort of misconduct has formed the grounds for a divorce. But modern divorce laws […]
  • As circumstances change, ‘Last Will and Testament’ may not be final word on an estate
    “Last Will and Testament” is a popular title for the document in which a person, known as a testator, names one or more people to manage his or her estate and provides for the distribution of his or her property after death. But when a person’s life circumstances change, a “Last Will and Testament” may […]
  • When a couple divorces, debts as well as property must be equitably divided
    Marriage can be likened to a business contract, and when that contract is dissolved during a divorce the division of assets is an important and often contentious matter. But debts are an equally important matter to resolve when any contract, including marriage, terminates, as any debts a couple holds will also be allocated between the […]
  • IRS offers holiday season tidings on tax exclusions estate planners should remember
    The holiday season upon us, meaning that the remainder of the year will see a significant amount of purchasing and bestowing gifts. The spirit of giving is not lost upon the federal government, particularly regarding those gifts with significant valuations, or those bequeathed by an estate. Accordingly, the Internal Revenue Service has announced its gift […]