For many married couples, the term March Madness may mean more than just the race to the national collegiate basketball championship. According to multiple studies, March is also one of two months during the year when many married couples call it quits.
In a study conducted by sociologists from the University of Washington, data from divorce filings in the state of Washington from 2001 through 2015 was analyzed. The research team found that in March and in August, the number of divorce filings significantly peaked, with a high plateau occurring between those two months, before dropping again in the autumn months. To obtain a visual of what this looks like, the graph of this data has been compared to a cat’s ears.
According to the study’s authors, divorce may actually be driven by what they referred to as a “domestic ritual” which is determined by the family’s behavior. For example, in many families, the summer and winter holiday seasons are considered traditional family times where immediate and extended families often gather together.
Many couples who are struggling with serious marital issues may see these occasions as a time to either try to resolve those differences and begin a fresh start, or they may view them as a bad time to break the family up and seek to delay the separation until after the holidays have passed. This is especially true for families with children.
However, once the holidays have passed, the reality of the broken marriage once again rears its head, leaving couples to make the inevitable decision. The research team concluded that many couples then take the next couple of months to make arrangements and get their documents and records in order before actually making the move to file for divorce, leading to the large spike in March.
The spike in August, after family summer vacations, is most likely linked to parents wanting to quickly finalize the breakup and make the appropriate family adjustments before the school season starts, in the hope that this will lead to less disruption for the children. This short window of time between vacation and start of a new school year typically does not leave as much time to prepare as the couples who make their decision to split in March.
If you have made the decision to end your marriage, contact a skilled DuPage County divorce attorney to find out what steps you need to take, as well as to discuss your legal options. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC at (630) 793-6337 to schedule your confidential consultation today.