Is Divorce in Michigan Seasonal?

Since the holiday season was just upon us, it is an opportune time to discuss a study on the timing of divorce. According to an article in Live Science, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington analyzed thousands of divorces that took place over a 14-year period from 2001 through 2015. The key finding of the study is this: Divorce rates rise significantly in March and August. There are a number of explanations for these spikes, and given that the researchers suspect that the winter holiday season may play a vital role in producing those increased divorce rates, now is a good time to revisit this study and to reconsider its implications.

Rising Divorce Rates in March and August

In examining divorce rates across the 14-year period, the researchers discovered that divorce rates rose by more than 30% in both March and August. Julie Brines, a co-author of the study, is a sociology professor at the University of Washington. In large part, Brines links the spiking divorce rates to holidays seasons and familial expectations. It is not that March and August are holiday times, but rather that they come after holiday vacations and holiday seasons come to an end, which is often a period in which a person reassesses his or her relationship and whether it is likely to work out.

As Brines explained, people have high expectations of the holiday season to magically wipe away all the unpleasantness off the previous year. Then, when the holidays do not live up to their expectations, those people become even more disillusioned and file for divorce soon thereafter.

Moreover, there are significant social and familial pressures to "make a marriage work" during the holidays-whether it is during the winter holiday season or during summer vacation. However, many couples realize that, if the relationship is not going to work when during a period of seemingly uninterrupted family time, it may be an occasion to seriously consider divorce.

Divorce Rates Remain Steady Across States

The majority of the research into divorce rates focused on Washington State since the authors of the study are located at the University of Washington. However, the results of the study are not limited to Washington State. According to Brines, once the researchers had the bulk of their research completed, they began looking to relevant data from other states and determined that the spikes in divorce rates exist in many different U.S. states all across the country.

In other words, like other states, divorce rates in Michigan likely spike in March and August. While there are many different reasons for a person to file for divorce in Michigan, the study suggests that some of those filings in March and August are tied to the seasonal and social factors we discussed above.

Contact a Michigan Divorce Attorney

Do you have questions about filing for divorce in Michigan? Are you wondering how filing for divorce during the holiday season could affect your family? An experienced Michigan divorce attorney at our firm can assist with your case. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins to discuss your options for filing for divorce.