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Is divorce a seasonal family issue?

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2023 | Divorce

For someone who is blindsided by a process server or an unexpected conversation with their spouse, divorce may seem like a random suggestion. No one ever knows when they might learn that their spouse wants to end their marriage, but there certainly are trends that are hard for people to ignore.

Some people will go so far as to claim that divorce is a seasonal issue, as there tends to be a biennial search in divorce filing across the country. Does the data from the family court system actually support the claim that divorce courts experience seasonal changes when it comes to demand?

Yes, divorce filings tend to follow a pattern

Lawyers often refer to January as divorce month because they see a massive uptick in new clients coming into discuss the state of their marriages after the winter holidays. Those January consultations then lead to many March divorce filings. A combination of stress from the holiday season and a desire for a better new year often leads to many spring divorces each year.

There is a second spike each year almost six months later in August. This second uptick in divorce filings reflects the end of summer vacation and the pressure often generated by the summer holidays. The number of divorce filings tends to drop off toward the end of the year as the winter holidays are near. While many people like the idea of ending their marriage by the end of the year and moving on to a fresh start with the new year, no one wants to ruin the holidays for their families.

People should file based on their needs, not on social trends

There are some people who might recommend that individuals considering divorce wait rather than file paperwork in March or August when the courts are likely to have fewer sessions and more demand. For those who have time to strategize about a divorce, waiting until the peak months pass may be a smart choice, but the delay in filing may very well balance out with any delays related to high demand and case volumes in the courts.

Overall, those contemplating divorce want to make a decision based on their personal circumstances, not on what other people choose to do. Those who understand divorce trends may be able to make sense of why they feel strongly about ending their marriage at a certain time of the year or why their spouse decided to file paperwork.

Making sense of the rules that apply to Louisiana divorces and working with an experienced legal professional to execute a sound strategy during the process can benefit those who are preparing for the end of a marriage.