According to a new academic study, it appears that there may be certain times of year when dissatisfied spouses are more likely to file for divorce. Specifically, based upon divorce data accumulated between 2001 and 2015, divorce rates spike twice a year – first in March and then again in August.

What explains this pattern? The researchers behind the study point to a number of different factors.

Disappointment from the Holiday Season May Contribute to Increase in Spring Divorces

With regard to the spike in March, the researchers suggest that spouses and couples contemplating divorce may choose to wait out the holiday season. This could be because either (i) they want to see if the holidays will bring them closer together, or (ii) they do not want their divorce to impact the holiday season for their family and friends. However, as noted in the news release announcing the study, “holidays are also emotionally charged and stressful for many couples and can expose fissures in a marriage.”

The researchers also suggest that the delay until March may reflect the time needed to prepare financially and emotionally for the divorce process. Although, while divorce rates peak in March, they begin climbing significantly after the start of the New Year.

Fall Divorce “Season” May Reflect Similar Considerations

The study’s findings suggest that there may be similar considerations behind the second peak in divorce filings during August. Particularly among couples with school-age children, waiting until the end of summer break may reflect a desire to maintain stability during what is supposed to be a time of enjoyment. But, unlike the post-holiday season lull, parents considering divorce may prefer to start the process immediately rather than waiting until it gets too late into the school year – explaining the immediate jump in divorce filings at the end of the summer vacation season.

Months with the Highest and Lowest Divorce Rates

The peak divorce rates in March and August follow steady climbs in the immediately-preceding months. The divorce rate also remains relatively high from April through July, but then drops off sharply after August to an annual low in December. The study does not provide a direct explanation for the disparity between the divorce rates in the summer and winter months between the annual peaks, though one could hypothesize that the holiday season may carry more weight than summer vacation in terms of providing justification for delaying a divorce.

Of course, while these trends are interesting, they should not impact any one individual’s or couple’s decision regarding when to file for divorce. Getting divorced is a uniquely personal matter, and one that requires careful consideration of a wide range of personal and family circumstances. If you are contemplating a divorce, we encourage you to learn more about some of the key considerations you need to keep in mind.

Are You Contemplating Divorce? Contact the McKinney Family Lawyers at Nordhaus Walpole PLLC

At Nordhaus Walpole PLLC, we provide experienced legal representation for spouses contemplating divorce in McKinney, TX. To schedule a free, confidential consultation with one of our dedicated family lawyers, call (214) 726-1450 or request an appointment online today.