Divorce is seasonal, peaks following family vacations

University of Washington sociologists have observed - from biannual patterns of filings for divorce - that divorce is seasonal during the periods following winter and summer vacations. It was postulated that troubled couples may see the holidays as a time to mend relationships, claiming 'We'll have a happy Christmas together as a family or take the kids for a nice camping trip, the thinking goes, and things will be better.' The consistent pattern in filings, the researchers believe, reflects the disillusionment unhappy spouses feel when the holidays don't live up to expectations. Researchers analysed filings in Washington state between 2001 and 2015. Future research will examine if the trends noticed in Washington also apply to other states. The authors of the work, Prof. Brines and Dr Serafini, have already analyzed data for Ohio, Minnesota, Florida, and Arizona - states that have similar laws to Washington but have different demographics and economic conditions. Interestingly, during the recession, Florida and Arizona were hit hard by the real estate collapse, and Ohio had above average unemployment rates. Despite those differences, the seasonal divorce peaks persisted.

 

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