In contrast with older generations, many Americans these days are waiting until their 30s or even later to get married. The story is different, though, with military members.
Consider these statistics from the U.S. Department of Defense Demographics Report:
- Of all active-duty service members, about 43 percent are aged 25 or younger.
- About 23 percent are between the ages of 26 and 30.
- And slightly more than 56 percent of active-duty members are married.
Out of all the military branches, the Army has the highest percentage of married service members -- at nearly 60 percent.
So why do service members tend to get married young?
There is no easy answer to that question, of course.
In the United States, we generally assume that people get married for love, but it's also true that love isn't the only factor that guides people into matrimony. Security; tax, health and estate benefits; economic gain; family pressure; the desire for children and a family legacy; impatience -- these can all play separate parts in a couple's decision to marry.
For military members, though, other realities may factor into the equation: specifically, the military forces soldiers and sailors to grow up fast, and deployments can put pressure on to tie the knot.
Ask any military couple; the service can put a strain on a marriage.
One of the most difficult aspects of being a married service member or a service member's spouse is balancing the mission with the marriage. Among other concerns such as child care, you may have to adjust your expectations and ideals, especially during deployments.
While the rate of military divorce recently reached its lowest point in about 10 years, divorce is still a reality that poses unique challenges to service members and their spouses and children. That is one reason service members are afforded special protections under the law.
For example, under the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act, service members deployed overseas are not subject to certain civil actions, including divorce proceedings and child support enforcement.
Regardless of their age and why the marriage is ending, military members and their families deserve high-quality legal representation when going through divorce.
At Daniel R. Bacalis, P.C., we understand the unique challenges military families face, and we provide proactive representation to achieve our military clients' goals, whether they relate to divorce, child custody, child support or the division of property, including military pensions.
From our offices in Galveston and Tarrant counties, we are prepared to help military members and their families resolve their family law issues.