Military life can be stressful for families. With the deployments and the reality that a loved one will be put into harm’s way in defense of the country, it can put an extra strain on marriages that add to the normal, everyday issues that arise and lead to disputes between spouses and perhaps a divorce. For Texans who are in the military, understanding the impact of a divorce while serving is imperative as it can affect military benefits and other issues.

Statistics are constantly being taken to determine the prevalence of divorce. In 2016, approximately 2.6 percent of male service members who were married got a military divorce. This is the same rate as has been in place since 2013. The number of female service members who divorced rose to 6.6 percent in 2016. That is an increase from 6.2 percent in 2015. These numbers are accrued with comparisons of the number of troops who are recorded as married in the military personnel records at the outset of the year and the number who say they have divorced over the course of the year.

In total, the 2016 rate of divorce was 3.1 percent. That is a slight uptick from 3 percent in 2015. For 2016, female enlisted military members had an 8 percent divorce rate. Male members were at 2.8 percent. Members of the Marines had an overall rise in divorces. The Marine Corps was the only branch to experience a general increase with males increasing to 2.8 percent from 2.3 percent and women to 7.7 percent from 6.4 percent.

For people who are in the military or have one of the spouses in the military, it can be a difficult road to keep a marriage together. Numerous factors must be accounted for with a military divorce and these are different from a civilian divorce. Included are medical care, pensions and other military benefits. Servicemen and servicewomen who are considering ending their marriage while still serving should understand the different aspects of a military divorce that are not applicable to a conventional civilian divorce. Having advice and guidance from an attorney who is experienced in military divorce is the first step.