Although it may seem unusual to consider, research has found that divorce filings tend to follow a seasonal pattern. Researchers from the University of Washington found that divorces tend to spike in the months of March and August each year.

What various factors might play into this seasonal cycle? With the end of summer upon us, examine this information to determine whether you may find yourself in a similar situation if you are currently pondering divorce.

Seasonal clocks dictate divorce filings

Families follow what researchers call a “seasonal clock” that involves a variety of recurring occasions, such as birthdays, holidays, and the yearly school cycle. Expectations and optimism regarding relationships tend to peak around the start of seasons such as the holidays at the end of the year and the beginning of summer when vacation season starts. Conversely, when these expectations fail to materialize at the end of these cycles – typically in March and August each year – divorce filings tend to rise.

The researchers said there is actually a one-month gap in terms of the time that divorces should logically peak, based on this factor, since the months of February and July may more accurately reflect the closing of these “seasons of optimism.” They said this is due to the time it takes between making the decision to divorce and actually taking care of the logistical tasks of filing, such as finding an attorney

Women initiate divorce more often

If you are a woman, you may be at a disproportionately higher risk of filing for divorce, because research indicates that women initiate more often than men, a full 70 percent more often. There are several reasons for this, but one of the biggest reasons the study author cited is that married women often report lower relationship quality than married men, generally.

Now that another summer has come to a close, it should not surprise you if you feel that it is finally time for you to take the next step and begin your divorce proceedings. It is all part of a logical cycle of events that many struggling married couples face during particular times of the year.