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Female Military Officers More Likely To Divorce

Female military officers from New Jersey and around the country are more likely to get divorced than their civilian counterparts according to Pentagon statistics. The Associated Press reports that approximately 220,000 women served in the military in Afghanistan and Iraq. These women are twice as likely to get divorced than their male comrades and enlisted women are up to three times as likely to get divorced.

Last year 3 percent of military men got a divorce whereas 7.8 percent of military women got divorced. Among enlisted officers, approximately 9 percent of women got divorced whereas divorces remained at 3 percent for enlisted men.

When a couple does decide to divorce there are many issues that must be considered such as the division of assets, spousal support and child custody. High net worth individuals may also need to consider the impact of divorce on assets such as real estate, trusts, business interests, and investments.

There are multiple factors that may contribute to the higher rates of divorce among military women such as relocation, societal pressure, and smaller inclination to remain in unhappy marriages.

The director of the Center for Research on Military Organization at the University of Maryland believes that societal gender roles may be to blame for the higher divorce rate as well.

“It’s a strange situation, where there’s a fair amount of equality in terms of their military roles, but as the military increasingly treats women the same as it treats men in terms of their work expectations, however, society still expects them to fulfill their family roles. And that’s not equally balanced between men and women,” the director said.

The struggle to balance a marital and child care obligations with an active service career can be too burdensome for many women and their husbands.

The director of a support organization for female veterans said that the transition from military to civilian life is difficult and female officers are not to given adequate services to help make that transition.

“It takes a while to get back into that tender, loving woman that’s a mother. And if you’re married, that tender loving woman that’s the wife,” she said.

Source: Associated Press, “Female GIs struggle with higher rate of divorce,” 3/8/11