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Sharon Easley
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At what time of year is a couple most likely to divorce?

In 2016, researchers who were studying the effects of recession chanced upon information that took them in a totally different direction. Their findings indicated an unusual pattern in divorce filings at certain times of the year.

What they learned

Researchers at the University of Washington were going over recession data that had been gathered between 2001 and 2015 when they discovered the pattern of divorce filings in the state. There was a marked increase after the holiday season and at the end of the summer each year. The researchers concluded that the holidays represent anticipation and rising expectations and are, therefore, inappropriate as a time to divorce. However, if the holidays are a let-down that only creates additional stress, couples will make the decision to divorce once the holidays are over. Summer is also a crucial time for decision-making since it is often reserved for vacations and family time. However, the researchers found that the divorce process was set in motion once the children went back to school.

Considering options

If holiday festivities or summertime events do not live up to the hope of a new start for a troubled marriage, ending it may be the only solution. The next question is how to go about it. Some couples, especially those with children, are put off by the idea of a contentious court proceeding and opt, instead, for mediation.

Continuing as partners

You and your spouse were partners in marriage, and if you can continue to be partners in divorce, mediation may be the perfect solution for you. It is less complicated, less expensive and far less contentious than litigation. The two of you will work together under the guidance of a neutral mediator to agree on a settlement that is mutually satisfactory. Mediation will also be less stressful for your children than traditional divorce.

Looking ahead

No matter what time of year you make the decision to divorce, you have options to end one chapter in your life and begin another. Even though the family unit undergoes a dramatic change, family relationships will remain. The option you choose can affect the way you and yours face the winters and summers to come.

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