Active-duty troops are divorcing at about the same rate as they have for the past 5 years. Here is what you need to know about the military divorce rate.

It may be difficult for couples to reconnect after long deployments. In addition, issues that affect civilians also affect military members, such as affairs, financial problems, children, substance abuse, etc. Since 2014, the divorce rate among men and women across services has ranged from about 3%-3.1%. Marriages that include military members with longer deployments are more likely to experience divorce. This is probably due to the fact that too much time apart usually causes much hardship in a marriage. In addition, members that see combat or weapon usage are also more likely to experience higher rates of divorce.

Related: Military Divorce in California: Rights, Process, and Benefits

Statistics About Military Divorces

The divorce rate in the military is calculated by comparing the number of those in the military who are married at the start of the year to those who reported divorces at the end of the year. Here are some interesting statistics about military divorces:

  • The #1 cause of divorce in the military is long deployments. Partners experience loneliness when they are apart, and there is typically a difficult period of adjustment once they get home.
  • The Air Force led all military personnel with a divorce rate of 3.9% in 2011, the highest it had been in 20 years.
  • The divorce rate is the lowest in the Navy, at about 2.8%.
  • The divorce rate among female troops is historically much higher than their male counterparts. The female divorce rate in the military is about 7%, while the male divorce rate in the military is around 2.5%.
  • The average divorce rate is higher for women in the military than it is for women living in the United States.
  • The overall divorce rate for enlisted troops is much higher than the divorce rate for officers, about 3.5% and 1.7% respectively.
  • Mental health puts additional stress on military divorces. 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For this reason, veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan experience a higher divorce rate.
  • The average divorce rate in the military is only slightly higher when compared to the United States.  In the military, the divorce rate averages at about 3.1%, while the overall divorce rate in the United States is about 2.9%.
  • The most common age for divorce amongst military members was 30 years old.

Who is most likely to divorce in the military?

First-line enlisted supervisors are the most likely to divorce. These individuals lead military operations and supervise enlisted service members.

Related: How to File for a Military Divorce in California

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