Is There a “Season” of Divorce? A Look at the Stats

divorce lawyersPeople often talk about divorce as this seasonal phenomenon, and we’ve heard a lot of “facts” on this. Mostly, people focus their attention towards the beginning and the end of the year, claiming that these months are part of the “divorce season.”

Many family law firms see business fluctuate from month to month, but are these trends persistent from year to year? To help answer this inquiry, we can take a look at the existing research, which includes efforts to track these numbers over a span of years. 

Research Highlights Two “Peak” Divorce Seasons

A recent University of Washington study covered 14 years of divorce data, where they uncovered a surprise: there are in fact two “divorce seasons,” with a lull in between. What is especially interesting is that there was very little fluctuation in the data from year to year. This data accounted for multiple counties in Washington, and there was little to no variation regardless of county. 

More specifically, the researchers found that divorce rates are actually lower than average from Dec-Jan, and start rising from then. They peak in March, then you see a small dip until another peak in August.

Why two peaks, and why such a consistent pattern? The researchers only had speculation in this regard but they think it has to do with the summer and winter holidays. People are often optimistic about these holidays, and from a cultural perspective they’re nearly universally important. It’s also possible that extended time together causes people to contemplate divorce, and they don’t follow through with filing until early in the year when we see the increase.

In contrast, March and August often give people a sense of a new beginning. School semesters are starting anew and spring/fall can give people the sense that it’s time to act.

How an Experienced Family Law Attorney Can Help

While we can’t say for certain why the divorce trends are so consistent year to year, we can at least confirm that the trend exists and March/Aug are the two divorce peaks of the year. 

Regardless of when you plan to move forward with your divorce, it goes without saying that you’ll want to seek the advice of a qualified legal professional before you take any other steps. At R&S Law Group, LLP, we understand that each divorce is different and uniquely complex. 

We take the time to understand your legal needs, and offer a free initial consultation. To learn more and to schedule your appointment with a skilled family law attorney today, give us a call at (949) 825-5245 today!