Each person has been happy or sad because of the weather and the changing of seasons. Each season brings different challenges with it in all aspects of life, such as bundling up for the winter or trying to stay cool in the summer. Could it be possible that divorce rates are affected by the seasons as well? Most people do not generally think of divorce as impacted by the seasons, and there are numerous reasons why a couple undertakes the divorce process. A study done at the University of Washington by Professor Julie Brines examined divorce rates to see if they were affected by the seasons at all.
The study found there are patterns where divorce rates spike at certain times of the year. The data collected over a 14 year period shows that the divorce rates peaked in March and August. March is usually right around winter is considered to end, and August often when it starts to cool down. Divorce rates spiking in March and August seems to indicate that divorce rates are affected by the seasons, but also by holidays.
Professor Brines’ research led her to believe that the reason for this spike is the “domestic ritual” calendar which rules families. People do not want to have the emotional struggle of asking for a divorce during the holidays, such as New Year’s, Christmas, Independence Day, etc. Many people also view the holidays as a time to try to reconnect with their spouse/family which can lead them to delay the divorce until after the holidays are over. However, it also may make them realize the inadequacies of their marriage, even more, feeling betrayed when the holidays do not live up to their expectations.
Brines also theorizes that the reason so many couples wait until March is because they take some time to get their finances situated, find a lawyer, and work up the courage to make the final step. The same goes for August, but for many parents, the school year hastens their decision.
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