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Military divorce rate declines in all branches of service

Military families in Louisiana know how straining the service can be on a marriage. Frequent and lengthy deployments can be great stressors on a marriage, despite the knowledge that one or both spouses are doing a great service to their country. And even after doing all they can to keep a marriage alive, some spouses ultimately decide that divorce is the best choice for them. Recent news reported straight from the Pentagon, however, shows that military marriages are faring slightly better than they did two years ago.

According to the Pentagon's report, the divorce rate among military couples dropped 0.2 percent from 2011 to 2012. Now, it sits at 3.5 percent. Although this rate is still about a percentage higher than it was in 2001, experts are hopeful that this drop is indicative of a new downward trend in military divorce. Providing even more hope is that the divorce rate declined among all branches of the military.

Many people have speculated as to what has prompted the change, and one idea that may have some merit is that deployments have become shorter and less frequent than they were just a few years ago. Being able to spend more time together may be alleviating the stress that some military families were under. In addition, the economy is gradually improving, perhaps easing some financial strain.

Ultimately, one year of slight decline is not enough to predict a new trend, so it will be interesting to continue to follow the military divorce reports in the coming years. However, it's important that military families know that they have options for seeking help if their marriage is in jeopardy. The military offers emotional health programs as well as marriage counseling services to help military families work through difficult times.

If these services are not enough for some spouses and they decide that divorce is the best option, it may be beneficial to seek advice from an attorney experienced in military divorce. There are several aspects of a military divorce that civilian couples do not have to deal with, so having someone knowledgeable on your side can be helpful.

Source: Military.com, "Military Divorce Rate Down Slightly in 2012," Amy Bushatz, Jan. 23, 2013

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