In August, summer is winding down, the school year is gearing up, and families
are preparing for the holiday season. What many people may not know is
that August, along with March, is also a time which sees divorce rates
peak, according to a new study out of the University of Washington. This
study is among the first of its kind and looks at data from divorce records
in the state of Washington over a period of 15 years. Researchers discovered
that divorce rates rise during the middle of the year, peaking once during
the third month and once again in August.
Why Are Divorce Rates Higher In August and March?
Currently, the claims made by the authors have not undergone peer review
but other evidence from around the nation may back up their story. For
example, researchers note that the general population in the United States
conducts online searches for terms such as “child custody”
and “divorce” more around the month of March than at any other
time during the year. The authors suggest this may be evidence indicating
that this trend in divorce rates may extend across the nation.
While the study is not able to positively identify which of our social
habits are responsible for the spike in divorce rates, the researchers
do suggest several possibilities. Couples often plan family events such
as vacations around the middle of the year. Couples who have already been
considering the possibility of divorce may use these vacations as a type
of litmus test for the viability of their relationship. The study calls
this the “broken promises” theory of divorce where couples
become discouraged after a vacation does little to improve or even hinders
Another possibility is that the holiday season may put additional strain
on an already stressed relationship. Big events, such as holidays, may
amplify existing problems in a relationship and a couple may elect to
wait for the mid-year break in holidays to take action. Specifically,
the time between the New Years, Valentine’s Day, and the Christmas
holiday season is an appropriate time to explore the possibility of marriage
dissolution. This timeline matches the research presented by the study.
25+ Years of Family Law Advocacy
The dissolution of marriage can be among the most stressful events a family
can experience, regardless of when it takes place. If you are currently
going through or anticipating a divorce, securing help from the right
attorney can make the vital difference in your case. Our lead Bronx divorce
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schedule a consultation with our firm to learn about your legal options.