A new study just out confirms what those of us in the industry already knew about…..divorce spikes at certain times of the year, you can bank on it! The University of Washington asked the question, Is Divorce Seasonal?…the answer is yes, yes it is.
The study was a longitudinal study where researchers looked at divorce filings between 2000 and 2015. When they compiled their data they found that divorce spikes in March and August.
The idea is that during the Christmas holiday and Summer break, folks feel like they want to stick it out and make it work. The divorce cycle is based upon, what they termed a “domestic ritual” calendar. Both Christmas and summer are hopeful times where there is anticipation and exciting family gatherings and events to look forward to. Couples often believe that their relationship may be mended by these family times. There is an idea that this may bring on a new beginning. There is hope and optimism about the future. Hence, the rate of filing for a divorce during the Christmas season or at the start of summer is lower.
The researchers suggest that the spike in August is in response to summer disappointment and an attempt to file before the new school year begins. So, it would seem to follow that filings would be high around January, or February. How can they explain March? This is how…Despite, a supposed disappointing holiday season, there is no impetus to file quickly as there is in August. Also, after the holidays, it may take folks a while to get their finances in order. Makes sense, some Christmas’s were so good financially (that is, we adults went crazy gift giving), only to have a January that was lean and mean.
My suggestion is that if you find yourself this month, or next March feeling like divorce is an option, don’t just go file, consider mediation. Divorce is real and you are not alone, obviously. Thinking through your options before reacting to gut instinct immediately will often save you in the long run.