When Do Most People File for Divorce?

There are many factors we often associate with divorce, such as financial problems in the marriage, infidelity, and lack of common goals. But does the season-the time of year-have anything to do with a couple's likelihood of seeking a divorce? According to an article in Slate Magazine, divorce rates are at their peak in August. That information comes from a study conducted by sociologists at the University of Washington who have investigated the seasonal spikes in divorce rates.

Why do more divorces happen in August than in most other months? If you are thinking about filing for divorce at the end of the summer, should you reconsider your decision?

End of a Holiday Affects Our Decision to File for Divorce

One of the most likely reasons that more divorce filings happen in August is that one or both of the parties in the marriage realize that their expectations for a pleasant family vacation cannot save the marriage and that it is time to file for divorce. In other words, the time of the year does not lead to unthinking decisions about getting divorced but instead helps to urge along spouses who may have been thinking about dissolving the marriage for quite some time.

The researchers describe a hypothetical scenario in which spouses go on summer vacation, maybe with their children who are on an extended break from school. The spouses have been having marital problems for quite some time now, but they continue to make the decision to work on the marriage. They go on vacation, and the trip does not help to repair the relationship. Upon returning home and getting the kids ready for the start of a new school year, the spouses realize that the summer vacation did not do anything for the marriage. Moreover, any desire to avoid breaking up the family before the summer vacation is no longer an issue.

This scenario is actually much more common than most people might think, and it is likely what leads many people to finally make the decision to file for divorce once August comes around. As one of the authors of the study explains, people go on holidays and vacation times with high expectations. Then, when vacations and holidays do not go as planned, the ultimate decision to get divorced is solidified.

Coming to a Decision Before Kids Go Back to School

Another reason that spouses ultimately end up filing for divorce in August is because they want to make a decision before the kids go back to school. Getting divorced often means that one of the spouses will be living in a different location, and sometimes both spouses will move into new homes. As such, minor children from the marriage could end up in a new school, and parents often want to make such a move before the academic year begins and when it is less disruptive to their children.

While the study explored data from couples in Washington, the researchers expanded their study to look into divorce data from other states, as well. They concluded that divorce "season," so to speak, seems to be universal across the country. As such, married couples in Michigan who are thinking about filing for divorce this month are not alone.

Learn More from a Divorce Attorney in Michigan

Are you thinking about filing for divorce before the summer ends? An experienced divorce attorney in Michigan can help. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins to speak with a dedicated advocate about your case.