A new study from sociologists at the University of Washington suggests that there is definitely a divorce season — two per year actually. The researchers found the first quantitative evidence of a seasonal, biannual pattern of divorce filings. They analyzed filings in Washington state from 2001 and 2015 and found that the new divorce filings peaked in March and August, following winter and summer holidays.
The findings were presented at the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting in Seattle on August 21, 2016. Winter and summer holidays seem culturally sacred for families — such that it may be considered inappropriate or taboo to file during the holiday season. Holidays can be seen as a time to stay together for the family either for Christmas or for the summer family trip.
The two that performed the study set out to evaluate the effects of the recession on divorce patters. They found that the pattern held even during the recession period, although there was more volatility during those years.
The study has turned to other states to see if the pattern holds true. They have examined four other states — Ohio, Minnesota, Florida, and Arizona — all states that have similar divorce laws to Washington, but differ in demographics and economic conditions. The pattern shown in Washington held to be the same in the other four states as well.
Read the article from the University of Washington website Is divorce seasonal? UW research shows biannual spike in divorce filings by Deborah Bach.
FROM MICHELLE: This pattern is something that Dallas Texas divorce lawyers are well familiar with. We wouldn’t need scientific research to know the trends exist. I have been a divorce lawyer in Texas for 25 years and have seen the divorce rates start to rise significantly in mid-January with a peak usually in mid-March. About the time Spring Break starts, the filings slow down and continue to slow into the summer holiday period. Then, new filings peak again just after school starts in August and stay strong through October, slowing down in November and December for the holidays. These trends have been consistent year after year of my entire career. During the 2008 recession, the trends went a little askew, with filings over all slowing down. Right now, we have entered into the second season of the year. Divorce filings are up for the month of August and should continue to stay strong through October.