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Military divorces in Florida may differ from civilian divorces

When a member of the military, or the spouse of a service member, decides that a divorce is necessary, there may be any of the usual issues to resolve in the divorce. But, a military divorce in Florida also has its own types of issues. While a civilian divorce is generally governed by Florida law, a military divorce also involves legal issues that pertain to members of the military under federal law.

Commentators often try to determine whether service members or civilians are more likely to divorce. But researchers say that making such comparisons is difficult. In the past few years, researchers have noted that the military divorce rate has seen a decline.

Significantly, the divorce rate among female service members has fallen more significantly. Researchers say that last year the divorce rate among female service members dropped to 7.2 percent. In 2012, the rate was measured at 7.9 percent. It peaked among female service members in 2011 at 8 percent.

The divorce rate among male service members remained fairly steady, with slight fluctuations, since 2005. The variations from year to year are so small that researchers say the changes have not been significantly significant.

A story on the research from News does not provide break downs by each state. It is not an intricate study of numbers that would include the divorce rate at individual locations, such as MacDill Air Force Base.

Overall, commentators say that the divorce rate dropped a tenth of a point -- to 3.4 percent -- in 2013 from the year before. Researchers claim that the overall civilian divorce rate was around 3.6 percent. But, the most recent civilian numbers were calculated in 2011. The methods of calculating military and civilian divorces also vary.

Notably, other than the idea that a person is not necessarily alone when deciding to divorce, the current rate of divorces in the military may not help significantly in how to proceed. Each household—whether civilian or military—has its own structure. Parents with children may need to arrive at a custody and visitation schedule.

Property division issues and other aspects of a divorce may be an issue in a military divorce. With the unique situations that military families may face (such as military retirement benefits) and the addition of rules that apply specifically to military divorces, a person seeking a dissolution may want to seek the assistance of a Florida family law attorney to protect his or her rights.

Source:, “Female Military Divorce Rates Continue Decline,” Amy Bushatz, Dec. 18, 2013

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