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Battle Casualties Reflected at Home in San Diego in 2012

The number of American service men and women overseas, many in war zones, account for an increasing number of casualties. Many of these service personnel are from San Diego. Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force and Reserve forces from bases in San Diego and outside San Diego are serving but this can lead to separation of spouses. In some San Diego families, both spouses are serving with postings outside the United States but in different countries or regions. As such, not not all “casualties” of these are on the battlefield. The rising incidence of military divorces is testimony to the strain that service marriages face. This is particularly, as in many San Diego families, where there are multiple deployments.

The Idea

Most couples enter marriage in good faith where the dreaded word divorce is not part of their lexicon. ‘Till death us do part’ is an article of faith rather than a meaningless phrase that one mutters as a statutory part of the ceremony. As a newly-wedded couple they have an unshakable belief in their ability to weather whatever storms fate throws at them. There’s no hurdle, no challenge that they won’t be able to overcome together.


But times have changed since their wedding day for many couples who have been forced to work out the logistics of living apart because of military separation. Some, in San Diego, have been separated for months and some for years.

Circumstances and the demands of serving the nation have called one partner in the marriage overseas or away from home in San Diego. Many are posted in war zones where death is a constant companion biding its time. This relentless stress compounding the strain of separation is taking a heavy toll. This certainly affects relationships and divorce attorneys know all about this.

The word divorce is now not just part of their dictionary, but is writ large in fluorescent letters. Many military couples have sought recourse in counseling as a last ditch measure. But when one partner is away the odds against ‘working things out’ are much different than when both spouses can go to marriage counseling.

Tough Job

Many couples are uncertain whether their marital issues were caused by military life, or was military life just a contributory factor – the proverbial last straw. They cannot say conclusively that the situation wouldn’t have been the same had one not pursued a military career, but the military option unquestionably didn’t help.

Military Deployment and Strategies for Marriages to Remain Intact

After over more than a decade of war and recurring deployments, the strain is beginning to tell on military couples and the newest casualties of war, and in greater numbers, are off the battlefield and have to do with ruined marriages and filings for divorce. It is a bad policy in a marriage for spouses to live apart for so long for many marriages. Most marriages survive these deployments and new technology allows “face to face contact” even around the world and in some battle zones but this does not replace the “loneliness” felt by many spouses. Counseling and professional advice from the military and non military can assist with having your marriage survive years of being physically apart. Statistics from a recent Defense Department report suggest that in 2011 the military divorce rate hit a new high of 3.7 percent, the highest since 1999. Translated into numerical terms it means that almost 30,000 service marriages have resulted in divorce.

Serving the Military

Family law attorneys at the law firm Doppelt and Forney, APLC offer legal and paralegal services to military families in all parts of San Diego. This is one of San Diego’s law firms for divorce law which includes representing spouses in a military divorce. The firm offers initial virtual consultation free of charge for up to 30 minutes during which time you can discuss various aspects of divorce including child custody and spousal support.

A military divorce entails certain other issues which have to be addressed. Some of these are the eligibility of the military spouse to continue using the commissary, health care, and exchange benefits. Another issue of concern is the eligibility of the non-military spouse to a part of the retired military member’s pay.

Doppelt and Forney, APLC is knowledgeable with The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) which covers many of these situations as well as division of retirement pay, disability pay, BAH, BAQ and many other forms of compensation unique to San Diego military members both active and retired.

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