Examining the Divorce Rate Amongst Military MembersStatistics from the Pentagon show that 3.1 percent of the married members of the U.S. Military divorced in 2017. The Pentagon calculated the percentage from the number of married members at the beginning of the year and the number of reported divorces by the end of the year. It is difficult to compare the military divorce rate to the overall divorce rate in the U.S. because they are collected and measured differently. The national divorce rate is expressed as the number of divorces per 1,000 people. Still, military divorce data can show trends and subgroups that have a higher rate of divorce.

Divorce Numbers

The military divorce rate has remained around 3 percent for the past four years, while the number of military members who are married has dropped to around 51 percent. Researchers consider millennials to be largely responsible for the declining marriage rate, which also means fewer divorces. However, the military marriage rate is still higher than the national average. Other military divorce statistics show some interesting trends:

  • The U.S. Air Force has typically had the highest divorce rate of any military branch;
  • A recent study claimed that first-line enlisted military supervisors who are younger than 30 have a 30 percent divorce rate, which is the highest divorce rate of any occupation in that age group; and
  • Female military members have consistently higher divorce rates than their male counterparts, with some studies suggesting that their divorce rate is double.

Reasons for Military Divorce

All divorces occur for reasons that are specific to that marriage. However, military members and their spouses face several stressors that can contribute to a divorce:

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Four Rules for Personal Boundaries After DivorceThe habits that you form with your spouse during your marriage are difficult to break, even after your divorce. It seems obvious that you should not remain in contact with your ex-spouse unless it is necessary, such as with co-parenting. However, you need to adjust to the new personal boundaries that your divorce created, which is not easy because of your close relationship with your former spouse. There are four rules for respecting your former spouse’s boundaries:

  1. Do Not Ask Your Ex for Help: You may have relied on your former spouse to fix problems during your marriage, such as household repairs, car troubles, or tech support. You may feel tempted to continue asking him or her for help with these problems, even though you are no longer together. Doing this puts your former spouse in an awkward position. You should seek help from other friends and family or hire a professional.
  2. Do Not Pry Into Your Ex’s Personal Life: You will be curious about the details of your former spouse’s personal life and how he or she is doing compared to you. Keeping tabs on your spouse is an invasion of privacy and unhealthy for you. Do not ask personal questions when you see him or her. Do not ask your children for updates. Do not stalk him or her on social media.
  3. Do Not Disturb Your Ex’s Parenting Time: A reasonable parenting agreement should allow you to contact your children if needed during your former spouse’s parenting time. However, you should not abuse this by having long phone conversations with them or crashing activities that your former spouse has planned for them. Give them space so they can build their relationship with their other parent. 
  4. Do Not Show Up at Your Ex’s Home Unannounced: When your former spouse receives your marital home in the divorce, it becomes his or her private property. You do not have the right to enter the property without permission just because you used to live there. Contact your spouse in advance if you have a reason you need to go inside his or her home.

Giving Each Other Space

Your divorce agreement will establish many of the personal boundaries between you and your former spouse. You will decide who owns each marital property and how to allocate your parental responsibilities. A Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you create a divorce agreement that respects your boundaries. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.

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When to File for Denial of PaternityAs a father, you cannot forgo your financial obligation to your biological children, even if you no longer see them after divorcing or separating from their mother. However, you may not be required to make child support payments if you are not the child’s father. Family law courts prefer for a child to have two legally established parents for purposes of support and security. If the court presumes that you are the father, you will need to file a form stating that you deny paternity of the child.

Establishing Paternity

Illinois law assumes that you are the biological father of a child if you were married to the mother during the child’s conception or birth. If you have never been married to the mother, you can still be the legal father if:

  • You sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form;
  • Illinois Child Support Services enters an order than names you as the father; or
  • A court rules that you are the father during a paternity suit.

You should not sign a VAP form if you are uncertain about whether you are the child’s father. You have 60 days to rescind a VAP after its effective date. After the deadline, a court will rescind a VAP only if you can prove that you signed the form under duress or based on fraud or a material mistake. A genetic test can clear up any doubt about your paternity.

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Obtaining Asset Value Through a Divorce SaleSome marital properties from a divorce are more valuable to you if you sell them instead of deciding which one of you gets to keep them. In a divorce sale or auction, you can convert properties that neither of you wants into money, which you split as part of your division of property. You do not have to organize your divorce sale together with your spouse, but he or she must approve the sale of any marital properties. You must plan ahead for your divorce sale to ensure that you will receive full value for your properties.

Advantages

You will have different needs as a single adult than when you were married. Some properties will be impractical to keep as part of your new lifestyle. For other properties, their monetary value is more useful than the enjoyment you get from them. Selling these properties may be to your advantage because:

  • Unlike the property itself, you can equitably divide the money from selling the property;
  • You may need the money to support yourself after your divorce;
  • Money from a divorce sale can help pay off marital debts; and
  • You can save on the cost of keeping and maintaining the property.

A Successful Sale

Once you have identified marital properties that you want to sell, you must research and plan before selling the items. You can cheat yourself and your spouse by selling these properties for less than they are worth. Here are three keys to a successful divorce sale:

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Make Time for a Break from Your DivorceAllowing yourself to relax is important for your well-being during your divorce. The responsibilities of your divorce and your life can overwhelm you, leaving you little downtime. You may believe that you cannot afford to be unproductive by spending time doing activities you enjoy or doing nothing at all. You should instead view taking a break as a way to recharge yourself so you can be more productive when you are working on your divorce.

Benefits of Breaks

The stress from balancing your divorce with your work and family life can wear you down mentally and physically. You feel fatigued and may develop physical symptoms, such as headaches and gastrointestinal problems. Your thoughts may be muddled, preventing you from focusing on your work and making good decisions. Finding time in your schedule to relax and recharge can help you feel better physically. It can also give your mind time to process your thoughts about your divorce. After your break, you will have more energy to put towards your divorce and possibly clearer perspectives on issues, which will help you come up with creative solutions.

How to Relax

You may need to force yourself to take an occasional break from your responsibilities. Even when you find the time, it can be difficult to put aside your stresses and relax. Try different activities to learn your best way to relax:

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Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

 555 S. Randall Road, Suite 200
St. Charles, IL 60174

 630-584-4800

 1770 Park Street, Suite 205
Naperville IL 60563

 630-364-4046

 400 S. County Farm Road, Suite 300
Wheaton, IL 60187

 630-407-1777

Our Illinois divorce attorneys represent clients in Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and DeKalb County, including Geneva, Batavia, St.Charles, Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, Virgil, Lily Lake, Aurora, North Aurora, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Crystal Lake, Gilberts, Millcreek, Maple Park, Kaneville, LaFox, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Bristol, Newark, DeKalb, Sycamore, Naperville, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Lombard, Oak Brook, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Schaumburg, Big Grove, Boulder Hill, Bristol, Joliet, Kendall, Lisbon, Minooka, Montgomery, Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville and many other cities.

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