New research provides a seasonal, constant pattern of filings for divorce for the first time.
Is divorce seasonal? New research suggests that it may be true.
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Researchers from the University of Washington have found that divorce rate increases significantly at certain times of the year and usually it happens after winter and summer holidays despite the fact that most people view holidays as a time when they try to sort things out or take inactivates to restore their relationships.
“People tend to face the holidays with rising expectations, despite what disappointments they might have had in years past. They represent periods in the year when there's the anticipation or the opportunity for a new beginning, a new start, something different, a transition into a new period of life. It's like an optimism cycle, in a sense.” Sociology professor Julie Brines said.
To assess whether seasonal variations have an impact on divorce rate, researchers analyzed divorce filings in Washington State in the past decade or so and noticed a peak in March and August, the periods after winter and summer holidays.
The probable reason could be couples are already going through trouble within their relationship, but have heightened sense of the problem during the vacation and made up their mind to file for divorce.
“That leads me to think that it takes some time emotionally for people to take this step,” said Brines. “Filing for divorce, whether you do it by mail or appear in court, is a big step.”
Researchers believe that this is the first research to provide a seasonal pattern of filing for divorce. The research was initially not focused on to find a pattern in divorce filings but as the researchers continued to look at the filings obtained from different counties across Washington state, they have noticed variations from month to month and were surprised to a see a constant pattern emerge.
“It was very robust from year to year and very robust across counties.”Brines said.
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The pattern persisted even after accounting on other factors such as unemployment and decline in house values.