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The end of the summer may mean a spike in divorce rates

Summer is winding down. Labor Day -- the unofficial end of the season -- is almost here, and children across Washington are getting ready to head back to school. However, the end of summer may herald in another occurrence: a spike in divorce rates.

According to a recent study by the University of Washington, there is a seasonal pattern of divorce filings in the state. The study examined divorce filings in Washington that took place between 2001 and 2015. It found that divorce filings consistently spiked in the months of March and August, correlating to the end of both the winter holidays and the summer holidays.

According to researchers, people may be hesitant to divorce during a holiday season that is supposed to be "sacred." Moreover, some couples contemplating divorce may decide to use the holiday season to try to mend their relationship, in what researchers deemed to be an "optimism cycle."

But, the reality is that for some people, the summer and winter holidays are emotional and stressful times that could exasperate an already untenable marriage. Therefore, some couples may decide to divorce in August, after their vacations are done and prior to the start of the new school year.

Researchers found that this pattern of divorce rates continued, even when one considered other seasonal factors, such as the housing market and unemployment. During the recession, the pattern of divorce filings changed to some extent, but it was not statistically significant. Researchers are now examining whether these divorce patterns also occur in other states, and found it has persisted in some.

Whether it is at the end of summer or any other time of the year, Washington couples in crumbling marriages may decide that the best option for a better future for each of them is to end their marriage and go their separate ways. When this happens, each party may want to retain an attorney, who can help them understand the various divorce legal issues they must address and can represent their interests both in and out of court.

Source: Science Daily, "Is divorce seasonal? Study shows biannual spike in divorce filings," Aug. 21, 2016

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