The divorce rate for people in the military in Pennsylvania and across the United States has remained approximately the same for four years. In fiscal year 2017, the rate hovered between 3 percent and 3.1 percent, as it has since 2013. Throughout the year, around 21,290 servicemembers received a divorce; this number comes out of the 689,060 members of the armed forces who are currently married. The data was released in March 2018 by the Department of Defense.

The rate fell slightly from the previous year, when around 22,500 people divorced out of 707,230 marriages. This rate is calculated by simple calculations that look at the number of married members of the military at the beginning of a year and the number of divorces that took place that same year. Additional information can be learned by digging more deeply into the statistics. In general, women in the military continue to have a much higher rate of divorce than men. For female Marines, the divorce rate is particularly high, sitting at 7.1 percent down from a high of 9 percent in 2010.

Military policy can play a significant role in couples’ decision to divorce. Some speculate that policies in the Marine Corps may be less friendly to married women, leading to the higher divorce rate in that branch of service. There has been an overall decline in the number of married military members over the years; while over 56 percent of the military were married in 2011, in 2017, that rate was 51.7 percent.

The military lifestyle can be hard on couples and young families, and some may find that they need to divorce. For people concerned about how to deal with the specifics of military divorce, including the division of military pensions and other marital assets, a family law attorney might help them to protect their rights and plan for the future.