Certainly, no one should get divorced on anyone’s timeline but their own. There are many factors to consider that are unique to each couple and family. Unless one spouse initiates a divorce before the other is ready or even without notice, couples can agree on the best time to file for divorce.
Interestingly, the two months of the year where numerous researchers, including sociologists at the University of Washington (UW), have found that divorce filings spike are March and August. Those might seem like random months, so what is it about these two months that leads so many people to take the first legal step in the process?
Both of these months follow seasons when families typically spend a lot of time together. While March isn’t exactly at the end of the winter holidays, it does follow New Year’s, where couples may commit to a new start, and Valentine’s Day, when advertisements and entertainment are all about love and romance. You can’t set foot in the grocery store without being inundated by bouquets of flowers and gigantic heart-shaped balloons. Once these are over, they may find they’re right back where they were with the same problems.
Too much togetherness can make things worse
A key to understanding the spike in these two months is that they follow times of forced togetherness. Whether it’s spending Christmas as a family skiing up in Canada or going on a long camping vacation in July before the kids head back to school, more time together is rarely what troubled couples need. Living in close quarters, not having work obligations, being on a different schedule and having to deal with extended family can all cause simmering tensions to boil over.
Not wanting to ruin kids’ winter and summer breaks is also a big consideration. Even couples who realize that a vacation isn’t going to save their marriage often want one last family trip the kids can remember for the rest of their lives. Of course, they may just end up remembering it as “the vacation before Mom and Dad got divorced.”
There’s no “best month” to begin the divorce process. It is, after all, a process. Even amicable divorces take some time. Since it’s wise to get legal guidance before you file, the pros and cons of various timing on your filing are among the things you can discuss as you make the necessary preparations.