Vacations and divorces.
University of Washington sociologists have found what is believed to be the first quantitative evidence of a seasonal, biannual pattern of divorce filings. The researchers analyzed filings in Washington state over a 14-year period and found that filing consistently peaked in March and August, the periods following winter and summer holidays.
This is an interesting study by U-Dub, which has motivated us from our long silence to make some observations.
Our experiences are similar to those shown in the study, with some notable differences: We have seen that people come to us seasonally, with divorces coming during January and February, child custody disputes showing up about April or May, and another, smaller swell of divorces and support cases about fall. Our observations of these seasonal phenomenon are:
- “I stayed for Christmas with him/her, hoping that we could make it good for the kids. It was awful and I just can’t do it again.” This is a — slightly sanitized — summary of the statement that often accompanies our new clients in January.
- (a) “Our son/daughter is not doing well in school and we need to change schools for next year” (b) “I need to move for my job, and I want to get that done before school starts next year.” These are often the explanations we get from our clients in April and May of each year before engaging in a child custody proceeding.
- “I was hoping that our family vacation would bring us closer together, but…” We hear something along these lines occasionally with the fall divorce.
What makes our experience different from the data studied at the University of Washington? Possibly their weather?