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Family Law Blog

Divorce Season?

September 22, 2016 | by Patricia M. Barbarito

Most of us are familiar with the term ‘wedding season’—the most popular time of year for couples to tie the knot. But is it true that there is a ‘divorce season,’ as well?

According to a recent study conducted at the University of Washington, there are, in fact, two months of the year that consistently see a spike in the number of couples filing for divorce: March and August.

What’s the explanation for this pattern? Julie Brines, the author of the study and an associate sociology professor at the University of Washington, thinks it can be explained by that fact that each of these months come at the end of a holiday season.

“People tend to face the holidays with rising expectations despite what disappointments they might have had in years past,” explains Brines. “They represent periods in the year when there’s anticipation or the opportunity for a new beginning, a new start.”

But oftentimes, couples’ hopes are dashed when it becomes clear that although the holidays may have served as a ‘vacation from their problems,’ the difficulties persist once the sparkle of the season has worn off.

In our own practice, we see a similar pattern of filings; consultations with our matrimonial attorneys peak in September and January, at the end of the vacation and holiday seasons. Why is this the case? In my 35 years of experience as a divorce attorney and the head of a large divorce practice, I have found that there is no singular reason that people get divorced. The reason people divorce varies significantly from couple to couple. But every couple who gets divorced has one thing in common: the end of their hopes and dreams for a future together. I’ve often said that there is absolutely no one who gets married thinking they will get divorced. At the end of a long summer or after the Christmas holidays, tensions are often magnified, rising expectations are met with disappointment, and couples come to the ultimate conclusion that their marriage—and their hopes and dreams–cannot be saved.

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