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Study uncovers high divorce rate among military personnel

Michigan residents may be surprised to learn that what spouses do for a living can influence their chances of remaining married. Researchers from the career information company Zippia used data from the U.S. Census Bureau to track divorce rates among various occupations, and they found that working in the military can be hard on married life. Military jobs took the top three places in Zippia’s ranking of occupations with the highest risk of divorce by the age of 30, and first-line enlisted supervisors topped the list with a divorce rate of 30 percent. First-line enlisted supervisors lead and coordinate combat operations.

Demanding occupations can put great pressure on marriages, and these stresses may be even more severe among military couples who are often forced to spend prolonged periods apart. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Population Economics reveals that divorce rates soar when military personnel are deployed and continue to increase with every month spent overseas.

Military marriages may also be placed under great stress when military personnel return home. Studies have found that one in five returning Afghanistan and Iraq veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and many of these soldiers find it extremely difficult to adjust to civilian life. However, service personnel may have also higher divorce risks because they generally marry younger than the population as a whole and also tend to move more frequently.

Experienced family law attorneys may approach divorce negotiations delicately when the pressures of work have played a major role. These discussions are most productive when spouses cooperate, and amicable agreements can be difficult to reach. When negotiations are unsuccessful, attorneys may suggest an alternative venue such as divorce mediation.