Do some branches of the military have higher divorce rates than others?

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2022 | Military Divorce

Choosing to be in the military is a major commitment that often involves many sacrifices. It’s a career path that can bring challenges to one’s personal life that many civilians do not have to face – such as frequent separations from family due to deployment or temporary assignments, as well as periodically uprooting the entire family to move to a new station.

With all of the added complexities that go along with a military marriage, it’s worth exploring how this job can impact a military member’s chances of divorce:

Recent trends

A recent report from the Pentagon found that overall, divorce rates across all branches of the military have hovered at around 3% over the past five years. The data noticed certain trends:

  • Female service members were nearly three times as likely to divorce – regardless of whether they were an officer or enlisted.
  • In the Marine Corps, divorce rates were higher for enlisted service members than for officers.
  • Members of the Air Force and Marine Corps had the highest divorce rate, while members of the Navy had the lowest.

It is worth noting that this data from the Pentagon cannot be directly compared with national divorce rate data, because these rates are not measured in the same way.

Special operations forces

Other reports have pointed to higher divorce rates among members of the special forces – such as the Green Berets, Rangers and Navy Seals. These elite troops often spend an average of nine months a year away from their families, and they are more likely to suffer long-term emotional damage from years of war. Some reports have indicated that the divorce rate among special forces may be as high as 90%.

Going through a divorce is never easy. But when your divorce is the cost of your service to your country, it can be even more devastating. It’s important to work with a family lawyer who understands the complexities of military divorce and can effectively advocate for your unique situation.