Family Law Blog

Military Deployments Increase Risk of Divorce for Service Members

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Life as the spouse of a serviceman or service woman is never easy, and frequent military deployment can exacerbate the tensions in these marriages. According to a new study that was reported by the Rand Organization, the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken a heavy toll not just in terms of the number of service members killed or injured in the line of duty, but also on the marriages of these personnel.

According to the study, the US military members who have experienced multiple deployments overseas in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan may have a much higher risk of divorce. This risk of divorce seems to rise proportionate to the length of time these service members have served in combat zones overseas.

The negative effects of deployment can be seen in both genders, but the effect seems to be much heavier in the case of female military members. Female servicemen and servicewomen seem to have a much higher risk of filing for divorce in the same situation. The findings of the study were published in the Journal of Population Economics recently.

Overall, the research found that any deployments to an overseas combat zone increased the risk of divorce among servicemen and servicewomen, but the effects were much stronger, when military personnel were deployed to combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Among the couples that were studied as part of the research, couples, who had married before the September 2001 terror attacks and experienced deployment overseas of 12 months to war zones, were approximately 28% more likely to file for divorce within three years of marriage, compared to other couples who had experienced deployments before the 9/11 attacks.