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Study Finds Biannual Spikes in Divorce Filings

filing, Kane County family lawyerDue, in large part, to its geographic location adjacent to Lake Michigan, the Chicago region experiences all four weather seasons. Residents of the region typically expect warm—even hot—summers and cold, snowy winters. In between, of course, are the transition seasons of spring and fall. During spring, the days get longer, and signs of new beginnings start to appear, while in fall, night comes earlier, the temperature starts to drop, and plants, animals, and people start preparing for the coming winter. Transition seasons, it seems, are not exclusive to weather, as a recent study suggests that divorce filings tend to follow a similar schedule, with more couples deciding to end their marriages at two, fairly specific times of the year.

University Research

The study was conducted by a pair of researchers at the University of Washington and included divorce filings from the period between 2001 and 2015 in Washington state. The team’s analysis revealed that divorce filings spiked dramatically in two separate months—March and August—closely following the winter and summer holidays.

Associate professor of sociology Julie Brines—one of the study’s authors—noted that the two holiday seasons are highly-valued times for most families. Filing for divorce just before Christmas, for example, is not usually considered appropriate, even for struggling spouses. In many cases, some couples may even use the holidays as a desperate effort to save the marriage, or, if the marriage is clearly over, as one last happy memory before the family is legally fractured.

The March Divorce Season

Obviously, the month of March does not immediately follow Christmas and New Year’s. Brines suggests that the delay is simply one of logistics. The end of the holiday season may trigger the desire to file for divorce, but couples often need time to find an attorney, get their finances in order, or to simply gather the inner strength to actually file for divorce.

In the wake of the team’s interesting findings, they began looking at similar data from other states to see if the patterns held true. Results from Ohio, Minnesota, Arizona, and Florida—states with similar divorce laws as Washington—show that divorce filings in those states also spiked in March and August. “What I can tell you,” said Brines, “is that the seasonal pattern of divorce filings is more or less the same.”

Get Help With Your Divorce

As the winter holidays have drawn to close, you may be considering your options for divorce. Before you make any decisions, contact an experienced St. Charles divorce attorney for guidance. Call Bochte, Kuzniar & Navigato, P.C. at 630-377-7770 today for a free consultation.



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