When do most people file for divorce in America? Brian Serafini and Julie Brines of the University of Washington wanted to know and, by analyzing 15 years’ worth of divorce filings in Washington, they got what is likely a pretty accurate answer. According to their findings, March and August saw much more divorce filings than any other month in the year; November and December were consistently the lowest by a noticeable margin. (You can view their results here in an article from The Atlantic.)
Discovering that most people divorce in March and August was a straightforward, if not also lengthy, process of reviewing divorce filings. Knowing why people divorce more often during those two months is another issue altogether.
The following reasons could be behind the two yearly spikes in divorce filings:
- Stressful family vacations: What tends to happen right before August? July family vacations. It is speculated that people on the verge of divorcing are pushed over the edge after going through a family vacation that proved far more stressful than relaxing. Another notion might be that they thought the family vacation would give them a change of heart and it simply didn’t.
- Valentine’s Day disappointments: What happens right before March? Valentine’s Day. Society has put a great deal of pressure on Valentine’s Day to be the national holiday that brings romantic partners close together. People losing interest in their spouse might see the lack of spark in Cupid’s day as the final straw, the turning point that made them realize they are no longer happy enough with their husband or wife.
- Summer heat & frustration: The United States is usually a pretty hot and humid place coast-to-coast during August; even all the way up in Washington State, temperatures can climb over 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 20 to 30 degrees more than the yearly average. The added frustration from feeling overheated could get on someone’s nerves and make them finally file for the divorce they’ve been pondering for so long. If you don’t think summer heat gets under peoples’ skin, it may interest you to know that crime rates also consistently spike in the hottest months.
- Christmas “cheer”: While wondering why March and August are so high for divorce filings, you must also question why December is so low. The prevailing notion is that divorcing during the holidays is simply too stressful, especially if the couple has children and/or are close to their relatives. Waiting until the holiday season is out of mind, such as early March, might just save everyone some anguish.
Do you need to file for divorce and don’t know the right month to do it? How about this one? Contact TJC • ESQ and our Rhode Island divorce attorneys can help you navigate the divorce process with ease.