Divorce Season

by Natasha Heathcote on October 18, 2016

Natasha Heathcote

When is the most common time for couples to divorce?


Holidays are times where families should be enjoying spending time together and celebrating, but according to new research from the University of Washington, it is the season for divorce, with many couples making the decision to separate and go their separate ways.

Sociologists from the University of Washington believe they have the first quantitative evidence to show a seasonal pattern of divorce by researching divorce filings for a fourteen year period between 2001 and 2015. They found that divorce peaks during the holiday season.

Another common feature with holidays are people taking time off work to spend with their family, which may expose cracks and ‘fissures’ in their relationship, which may be disguised under the business of daily life and routine that does not occur during the holiday period. Associate Professor Julie Brines from University of Washington says that holidays “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.”

Accordingly to relationship expert Dr Karen Phillip, in Australia the trend is the same as in the USA, with couples separating just before or after the Christmas holiday period.

The holiday period usually provide for a period of stress as couples holiday together and spend more time with their spouse’s family. The holiday period is also a time where there is an increase of alcohol consumption. However, this is not to say that couples do not separate at other times of the year or for other reasons.

Although in Australia separating and filing for a divorce are separate things and you cannot file for a divorce until you have been separated for a period of not less than 12 months, separation will found the ground for divorce of irretrievable breakdown of marriage.

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