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Do summer vacations affect the divorce rate?

A new study from a sociology professor and a doctoral candidate from the University of Washington reports that divorce filings peak after family holidays, such in August after most summer vacations and in March after the winter holidays.

Fourteen years of data on divorce from 37 Washington state counties were studied. Regardless of how the economy fared, the seasonal trends remained the same — divorces of couples both with and without children peaked in March and August. The authors said that one explanation for this could be that couples delayed their divorces during periods described as "socially sensitive." However, if that were the case, then divorce numbers should peak in January.

So why do couples wait until March? The authors postulate that holidays and vacations can make couples feel optimistic that their relationship can be repaired. When that doesn't happen because of the stresses of the holidays or after spending a lot of time with their spouses, many find that they are even more unhappy with their relationships than before the holidays or vacations began.

An interesting note is that this trend in the number of divorce filings is quite similar to the pattern sociologists have already identified in the rate of U.S. suicides.

If you are contemplating divorce, there are many decisions you will need to make. These may include child custody and support, alimony, property division and more. An experienced divorce attorney can provide guidance on these issues, as well as protect your rights and interests. Allowing your emotions to run rampant during divorce can affect your ability to make the right decisions involving your children, your assets and more.

Source: Bloomberg, "Summer Vacations Can Lead to Divorce," Ben Steverman, Aug. 22, 2016

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