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Social Phenomenon: Seasonal Trends In Divorce

Labour Day is over. The kids are back in school. And if recent research findings are anything to go by, then Canadian couples have probably just passed the annual high season for divorce filings.

March And August - Hot Times To Pull The Plug On Relationships

Sociology researchers at the University of Washington presented the results of their study last month. Although originally intending to examine the effects of economic downturn on marital stability, analysis of 14 years worth of divorce filings in the state revealed an unexpected discovery: divorce filings consistently peaked during the months of March and August.

The researchers reason that the August trend may be explained by disappointed hopes after failed family vacations in summer, and the impetus to get the divorce ball rolling before kids headed back to school.

The rationale behind the March migration proved less clear. But the researchers theorize that it may well be related to post-holiday blues and financial factors.

Christmas is a time when many families set aside year-long grievances and pull together to make it all good for the New Year. But for couples at the breaking point, even sacrosanct traditions may hold little power to prevent the fateful decision to finally call it quits. Once holiday expenses have been paid off and finances are in order, couples head to the courts in March to make their filings.

Curiosity piqued by the noticeable bi-annual trends, the research team went on to analyze statistics in four other states and discovered consistent results - March and August filings, despite disparities in economic and demographic conditions.

Studies have not yet extended north of the border, but the cultural similarities shared between the two countries make it likely that Canadian couples are also finding March and August convenient times to end their unions.

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