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Military women suffer higher divorce rates than civilian women

Every marriage faces numerous struggles and challenges, but certain situations may mean individuals are more likely to divorce than their peers. A recent study found that military divorce is a greater threat for women than men.

Women in the military are more than twice as likely to file for divorce as men in the military, and the marriages of women who are enlisted are more than three times as likely to end in divorce. In addition, women in the military have a higher divorce rate than civilian women, but military men have a lower divorce rate than civilian men.

When a military woman from Georgia files for divorce, there are numerous issues that must be considered. Like any divorce, there will likely be issues related to child custody, the division of pensions, and child or spousal support.

Although there are no concrete answers as to why military women are more likely to get divorced than military men, there are numerous speculations. The director at the Center for Research on Military Organization said one stressor may be the tension between the roles women are expected to play in the military versus the roles they are expected to play at home. He said that there is "a fair amount of equality in terms in their military roles...but society still expects [women] to fulfill their family roles."

Another speculation focused on the type of women that are attracted to the military. In general, the military attracts more traditional men, whereas women who are attracted to the military may be more unconventional. As such, those women may also be more aggressive about leaving marriages that are not working.

Between the physical separation, injuries and illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder, there is no shortage to the number of things that test military marriages. Whether women choose to pursue divorce or fight for their marriages, it is important for military families to work with counselors and other professionals to help ensure they have a good understanding of the situation they are facing.

Source: Associated Press, "Female GIs struggle with higher rate of divorce," 8 March 2011

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