Even though divorce rates among military service-members may be lower than the national average, the overall numbers of divorces in the armed services has been steadily increasing during the past 10 years. Experts in military family law say that the 2001 rate was 2.6 percent, while 2011 numbers show a rise to 3.7 percent.
Divorce can be made even more difficult when one member is deployed or engaged in active combat while legal proceedings are underway, according to many couples who have gone through the process. One 29-year-old former-Navy wife revealed the unique challenges that came along with being married to, and divorcing, a member of the armed forces.
As soon as the couple got engaged, his family began to express their concerns about her professional independence. The woman had attended college and graduate school, and she had already spent several years building a strong career, whereas other women in the family were career homemakers. Her fiancé was on her side, though, saying that he was impressed with her independent spirit and willingness to face astounding challenges.
After the marriage, though, that all changed. When the woman was working, their relationship suffered. The woman attempted to fix the numerous problems in their relationship by going to counseling and taking medication, but nothing seemed to work. Finally, the couple agreed that a divorce was necessary, shortly before the man deployed to Afghanistan.
The woman said that the deployment may actually have helped her relationship with her ex, because she did not have to physically deal with him or discuss difficult matters for several months after they split. Instead, she was able to work out her own emotional issues, allowing time before the divorce decree was hammered out. Ultimately, both people were able to become good friends, primarily because they were given time and space to sort out their own feelings before they attempted to go through the split.
Military lives are inherently different from those experienced by the civilian population. There are different cultural and social expectations in a military community. These factors still make the divorce process just as hard to go through. However, with an advocate on your side, North Carolina military couples seeking divorce can come out on the other side successfully.
Source: Huffington Post, "Military divorce: What it's like to split from your military spouse," Natasha Burton, May 28, 2012