We’re in the home stretch where August is concerned. For kids, this is a bittersweet month for two reasons: one actual and one potential. In the first case, they only have a few weeks of freedom left before heading back to school. In the second, they may also be coping with their parents filing for divorce.
According to a University of Washington study, Americans dissolve their marriages more often in August and March. The researchers examined divorce filings in the state of Washington over a 14-year period (2001 to 2015) and found that more couples called it quits in those months. (The lowest divorce rates occurred in November and December.)
Why is August in particular such a common month for divorce? The study didn’t delve too deeply into the question, but below are some possible reasons.
- Holidays can be reality checks
When a person is unhappy in their marriage, they may decide to give it one last shot during a family vacations. (Americans vacation more in July than any other month.) When the time away from the stresses of work and responsibility fails to change their feelings, they see a divorce attorney in August. Alternatively, they may refrain from filing in July to avoid ruining a family getaway for the kids.
- September is back to school month
Forcing children to change schools after the year officially begins in September can add to the stress of divorce. By filing in August, when family vacations are over but before school starts, custody arrangements can (hopefully) be settled, so the kids know where they will be going this year and don’t have to worry about needing to leave friends and favorite teachers after a month or two.
- The winter holidays have not yet arrived
The first November-December holiday season after divorce is always hard. Getting divorced in August gives parents and children some time to process the loss of the marriage and plan new traditions before they are bombarded with joyous family imagery in commercials, advertisements, and movies.
Another reason why so few divorces occur in November and December is the social stigma that can surround a breakup during the holidays. Although parents may be able to emotionally accept a change at this time, younger children in particular won’t, and a December divorce can tarnish their perception of the holidays for a long time after.
Divorce is a difficult life change no matter what time of year that you file. Working with a New York divorce attorney can help ensure that any decisions you make or consent to are in your best interests as well as those of your children. With the right legal guidance, you will be able to build a new life and future happy memories. Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx, New York divorce lawyer. He handles both uncontested and contested divorce cases. Mr. Lutzky offers free in-person initial consultations. Call his office at 718-329-9500 to set up an appointment or visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com to learn more.