Study suggests a probable role of seasons in divorce filings

Study suggests a probable role of seasons in divorce filings

The Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt divorce proceedings has taken the world by storm, with enough and more online space being devoted to why they are getting separated, what happened to the prolific relationship, to capturing their friends’ (read George Clooney) and others’ views under screaming headlines, which usually talk about nothing more than how it has caught everyone by surprise. In the end, one line expressed by one of the celebrities encapsulated the situation well – “it’s a sad time for the family.”

Divorce is never a good news unless it is the result of an abusive relationship. Neither are fights and arguments new to any couple. There are times everyone gets fed up of their better half and may feel that they would be better off without the other. But are there any special times of the year when the urge to throw in the towel gets too strong? The question is not far-fetched.

A season for divorce 

“To everything, Turn, Turn, Turn..There is a season, Turn! Turn! Turn!” goes the famous Byrds song. So is there a season for divorce as well? Apparently, it does if a recent study is to be believed.

The University of Washington not long ago tried to quantify exactly this assumption in a study. The authors Julie Brines and Brian Serafini had set out to investigate the effect of recession on marital stability. Instead, they saw a pattern emerge in divorce filings across counties in Washington. They analyzed the data on divorce filings in Washington state during 2001-2015 and saw that the number of filings consistently peaked in the months of March and August, the time right after winter and summer holidays. They seemed to have stumbled upon the first quantitative, biannual pattern of filings for divorce. The findings suggested that the filings might follow a “domestic ritual” calendar governing family behavior.

The researchers believe that the holidays are considered sacrosanct for most families and filing for a divorce during this time would be unthinkable. Further, couples on the brink of breaking their relationship might feel that this could be the last chance for them to try and make things work. According to Brines, “People tend to face holidays with rising expectations, despite what disappointments they might have had in years past.” She added, “They 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.” The study found that though couples might look up to holidays with hope, they often end up disillusioned. So there is a spike in filings in August, just when holidays end and before school starts.

However, as per Brines, the spike in March could be explained by the time taken by people to sort their finances, find an attorney or just gather courage to take such a huge step. The filing pattern showed a shift during recession but according to the researchers, statistically it wasn’t all that significant.

Don’t suffer from depression, seek help

In the study, the researchers observed that the rate of suicides would go up in spring, indicating that people were more prone to take action in that time. They explored the idea whether this could also explain the spike in divorce filings.

Divorce is a difficult decision which has its own complications. It is believed that people who go through divorce could suffer from what is known as situational depression, that is, suffer because of a circumstance. If left untreated, it can prolong unnecessarily. Therefore, it is important to take professional help, if one is going through a difficult time and is suffering from depression.

Clinical depression is a severe problem that needs medical attention. If you or your loved one is suffering from depression don’t delay. Reach out to the Texas Depression Treatment Helpline to know about treatment centers for depression in Texas. You may call us at our 24/7 helpline number 822-827-0282 or chat online to know about the best depression disorders clinic in Texas.