Are Couples More Prone to Divorce During Certain Times of the Year?

When it comes to ending a marriage, the idea of good timing is nonexistent. Even the very best of circumstances can appear bleak in the midst of such a life-changing event. Divorce affects the whole family, and there is no greater challenge for a previously attached adult who once shared his or her life and home with someone else than to pack up, pick up, and start over again. Still, some couples choose to delay the divorce process, in hopes of waiting until the time is right.

Cultural Rituals and Human Psychology Play a Role in Divorce

Maybe you want to avoid the disruption of your child’s studies that will result from relocating in the middle of the school year, or maybe you simply want to wait until after the holidays have passed to break the bad news to the family. Whatever the case, studies suggest there are certain factors that influence a couple’s decision to wait for the “best” time to call it quits. It turns out that divorces seem to revolve around our views of the seasons, special times of the year, and what we believe they represent.

Research shows that the following factors may influence when a couple chooses to divorce:

Culturally symbolic seasons – According to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Washington, calendar dates with culturally symbolic relevance, such as Christmas or the Fourth of July, are divorce-filing deterrents. Findings from the study imply that any American holiday that holds some type of ritual significance tends to sway our decisions regarding divorce timeframes.

A look at filings made in Washington state between 2001 and 2015 backs up this idea, showing a clear and consistent spike in filings during the months of March and August. These two months happen to be the periods just after certain American holidays and standard vacation season. The stress that surrounds holidays seems to play a role in this factor, as many couples do not wish to rock the boat during special family parties and gatherings, nor do they want to ruin a routinely happy time of year with sad, life-altering news.

Mood fluctuations throughout the year – Along with waiting for holidays to pass, family vacations are also events that are sometimes viewed by discontent spouses as divorce blockers. For some, vacations may register as a reason to delay filing for the same reason holidays seem like a good reason to delay. Yet for others, vacation may represent one last opportunity to salvage the marriage.

However a particular time of year affects one’s decision to divorce, research also suggests that seasonal mood fluctuations may determine what month a couple chooses to file for divorce. For example, a reported jump in anxiety and depression statistics during early spring and late fall may also indicate why some couples choose to file during the divorce-spiked months as uncovered by the aforementioned study.

Whether you are ready to file for divorce tomorrow or you see the end of your marriage on the horizon but are not quite ready to call it quits, it is important to speak with a skilled DuPage County divorce attorney if you want to protect your rights in the process. Let Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC address your questions and concerns. Call (630) 793-6337 today for a personal consultation.


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