There are myriad reasons why a couple may decide to get divorced. Maybe they mutually feel that their relationship is no longer fulfilling; maybe they have emotional or personal issues that simply make their marriage untenable; maybe property or financial issues reach a boiling point, and the couple decides it’s time to split. However, for as many internal factors there can be that causes a divorce, external factors can play a role as well. The economy, legal issues, criminal activity: all of these things could cause marital strife and, ultimately, divorce.
However, you probably never thought that the seasons could play an external role in a couple’s divorce. And yet, a study by FindLaw reached this conclusion, substantiating many similar claims that have been made before.
The study looked at divorce rates and web search terms relating to divorce from 2008 to 2011. What the study found is that starting in the month of January, divorces dramatically climbed, and the rise continued through February. The surge in divorces culminated with a peak in March.
Web searches for divorce (and other terms related to it, such as “family law” and “child custody”) also spiked during the January-March time window. According to the study, from December 2010 to January 2011 the number of divorce-related search terms jumped from roughly 10,000 to roughly 16,000.
It could be that the holidays (and the stress associated with them) trigger something; or it could be the depressing weather of winter; but in either case, this study shows that the New Year’s divorce curse is reasonably real.
Source: timesfreepress.com, “Split-up season: From January to March, divorce rates rise,” Anna Lockhart, Feb. 18, 2014