What do August and March have in common? In most parts of the United States, the two months don't even have similar climates, so your answer might understandably be "nothing much." But according to a study conducted at the University of Washington, March and August are the top two months of the year during which Americans file for divorce.
The study analyzed all of the divorce filings in Washington from November 2001 to December 2015; the state has pretty open divorce laws, which made it easy for the researchers to gather the data. What they found was a clear peak in both March and August and a dramatic drop as the year wound to an end, especially in November and December. (Be sure to check out The Atlantic's article about the findings
here.) While the numbers are certainly intriguing, they mean very little to researchers until the "why" behind them is answered.
Here are the top two speculated reasons why August and March might see the most divorces:
- Failed family vacation: Have you ever been on a family vacation that turned everyone's mood sour by the time the third or fourth day rolled around? Don't feel bad if you have! Most people get a sense of cabin fever when on a summer vacation sooner or later. But for someone who was thinking about calling their marriage quits, the frustrations of a July vacation might be the final push towards filing for divorce in August.
- Snow delay: In the holiday season, families are supposed to be closer than ever. At least, this is the idea that children are given through storybooks and classrooms, and it is the expectation of older relatives. Two spouses who want to divorce might be more likely to grit their teeth and bear it a while longer if the holiday season is around the corner or upon them. Rather than "ruining Christmas" they wait a little longer, let the festivities die down, and eventually decide to file in March. This notion would also explain why December sees so few divorce filings.
While speculating about the results of the study is surely intriguing, it does not really answer important questions for people going through or about to go through a divorce. For the legal guidance you need, you can contact the Law Offices of Evan Samuelson. Let our Roseville divorce lawyer know what is going on during an
initial consolation and we can tell you what you should do next.