Military marriages ending in divorce is a rising trend across the country.
A new RAND study shows the risk of divorce rose in direct relation to the length of time a service member is deployed in a combat zone. That risk increased among service members deployed to war zones like Afghanistan and Iraq for 12 months or more – members were 28 percent more likely to divorce after three years of marriage.
Divorce lawyer Ellen Frantz said she’s seen her share of military marriages unravel during her time as an attorney.
"Being deployed to a hostile environment might be different than serving in the military in Germany, for example,” Frantz said.
According to the study, divorce rates were higher for women across the board, but lower for military families with children. 97 percent of divorces took place after the service member returned from deployment.
"That makes perfect sense to me, because lawyers that practice divorce certainly understand that stress from whatever source increases the divorce rate,” Frantz said.
There are options available for struggling military families, according to Mary Tallman, the family readiness group leader for the 327th Army Reserve.
"There is counseling available for the service members and their families,” she said. “They have to have a lot of faith, they have to have a lot of strength, courage, understanding, and patience."
The La Crosse Veteran's Center offers marital and family counseling to combat vets, among a host of other resources.
You can learn more about those resources by calling the center’s office at 608-782-4403 or visiting ww.vet center.va.org.