Is divorce seasonal?
New research from sociologists at the University of Washington has found patterns suggesting
that in many cases, it is.
Sociology professor Julie Brines and doctoral candidate Brian Serafini
believe that they have found the first quantitative evidence of a seasonal,
biannual pattern of filings for divorce. The results of the study suggest
that divorce filings consistently peaked in March and August after winter
and summer holidays, reflecting what they call a “domestic ritual”
calendar surrounding family behavior.
The researchers believe that many couples wait to file for divorce until
after holiday events because it would be “taboo” to file during
a culturally sacred time of the year, like at Christmas or during the
family-oriented summer holidays. Couples may feel as though they should
try and “stick it out” during these times, either because
they wish to avoid the stigma of filing at an inappropriate time or because
they are hoping that the holiday will somehow make things better for their
spousal relationship. The researchers hypothesize that the spike in divorce
filings after these events suggests a reaction to the holidays not living
up to expectations.
In addition, researchers have also found a correlation to divorce among
things like rising unemployment rates, declining house values, and other
effects of economic recession. After reviewing divorce filings throughout
Washington State, they found that, given the instability caused by recession,
the pattern of seasonal divorce was slightly disrupted, but not significantly
– the pattern was still evident.
These findings were true not only in Washington, but in other states as
well. After looking at data from four other states with differing demographics
and economic conditions, including Arizona, Ohio, Florida, and Minnesota,
the pattern remained fairly consistent.
Questions about divorce? We invite you to
a Washington divorce attorney at McKinley Irvin to schedule an evaluation
of your case. We serve clients throughout the state from our offices in
Bellevue, Everett, Puyallup, Seattle, Tacoma, and Vancouver.