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Military life can add new challenges to divorce

For some, the military lifestyle is too challenging and leads directly to divorce. This is shown in the divorce rate, which has been on the rise. In 2001, it was at 2.6 percent. By 2011, a decade later and after the military was sent to Afghanistan, it had gone up to 3.7 percent.

Even when it does not cause a couple to split up, though, it can add challenges to the divorce process.

One woman told her story of divorcing a man who was in the Navy. It took them a long time and a lot of stress -- which was leading to health problems for her -- to decide to split. They finally got to the breaking point and decided to call off the marriage.

Right after they did it, her husband was told he was being deployed overseas. He couldn't put it off. They were still living in the same home, using the same bank accounts and all the rest. They hadn't had time to divide their lives or really move on after the divorce, and he shipped out.

In some ways, she said it was nice because it gave her more separation. She didn't have to worry about seeing him at the grocery store, knowing he was out of the country.

However, it also left her to deal with all of the pieces. She had to take care of the rental house and move out on her own. She had to be careful not to use his money, as she still had access to his bank account. She had to take care of the vehicles and other assets.

She also felt her life change drastically. Her social groups, she discovered, were all tied to the military. She was friends with other military members and their spouses, and she spent time volunteering on the base. After the divorce, she felt like an outsider whose home was no longer her home.

Because of the nature of sudden deployments, divorce can look different for military couples. Through it all, it's important for them to fully understand their legal rights.

Source: Huffington post, "Military divorce," accessed Sep. 22, 2017

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