Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

August and March are peak times to file for divorce

The beginning of a marriage might appear to be happily ever after for some couples; however, for others, their union is not meant to last. Deciding to file for divorce is never an easy process, as many decisions, most of them major and life impacting, must be made. And while some spouses can see the end coming, others can find the timing to be shocking.

Although there isn't always a rhyme or reason for why a spouse asked for a divorce when he or she did, studies have indicated that there are more common times to file for divorce than others. This new study, which was recently presented at the American Sociological Association, discovered that there were peaks in divorce filings in March and August.

These findings preliminarily suggest that most couples attempt to put off divorces during "culturally sacred" period of times. In other words, couples will hold off filing a divorce in weeks and even months surrounding holidays. Why? Because holidays come with rising expectations, spouses will face the holidays to hold off further disappointment.

Moreover, holidays often represent times of anticipation or the opportunity for a new beginning, a fresh start, a change, a transition period or even an opening for optimism. Therefore, couples will postpone dissolution under the impression that they will work through their marital issues.

Nonetheless, those that are not able to work through their problems during the holidays will likely have to face the reality in the coming months. Because of that, the end of a marriage likely occurs in January from March.

The study also focused on the impact the season had of divorce filings. The month of August saw a peak in divorce filings, which did not really correlate with the idea of holidays. However, this made sense to the researchers because married couples, especially those with children, often wait until the end of summer to divorce.

No matter what time of year a spouse files for divorce, the couple is likely to encounter various divorce issues. Whether its property division, child custody or spousal support, these issues need to be resolved.

Source:, "Why Late Summer Is America's Divorce Season," Joshua A. Krisch, Aug. 22, 2016

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