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Career choices may influence Arkansas military divorce rate

Arkansas military spouses have uncommon pressures. Families may move repeatedly or be separated for lengthy periods during a service member's deployment. Spouses called to action can be forced to miss events, like the birth of a child, while non-service member spouses carry the added stress of worrying about a loved one's safety during active duty.

Military divorces aren't unusual, but some factors appear to make the failure of a military marriage more likely, according to data from Air Force Times and the Air Force Personnel Center. AFT analyzed divorce prevalence based on service members' job, while AFPC compared divorce rates among officers and enlisted airmen. Both studies used 2013 data.

Air Force Times reported a divorce rate of over 46 percent for enlisted women who were female attaches. Nearly one-third of group superintendents were divorced. Among enlisted males, the rate of divorce was highest for flight attendants at nearly 15 percent.

Female officers working as operating room nurses had a divorce rate of more than 20 percent, with flight nurses not far behind at just over 16 percent. Almost 14 percent of academic program managers were divorced male officers. The gender-combined rate of divorce was higher among Air Force officers at 7.5 percent compared to enlisted service members at 4.3 percent. Divorces among security personnel, lower ranks and enlisted females topped the list.

One Arkansas psychologist believes that a key reason that many young military couples marry is for the attractive military benefits. The former Air Force captain believes a "de-incentivization" of benefits could curb the rate of military marital break-ups.

Tensions can lead to the end of any Arkansas marriage. Legal conflicts that plague civilian spouses are magnified in military divorces, like custody disputes involving service members stationed overseas. Military family law attorneys understand the rights of service members and can guide spouses through the unique obstacles they face.

Source:  Air Force Times, "Divorce rates: Another view of the data" Oriana Pawlyk, Jun. 03, 2014

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