Summer: the season of watermelons, long days at the beach, fun family trips, and something unexpected—divorce. Surprisingly, new research out of Washington state claims that summer is the most common season for divorce. By analyzing annual trends, experts have come to understand what makes people more likely
What the Research Says
A study conducted by University of Washington sociologists looked at divorce trends in Washington state, finding that divorce filings increased substantially in both August and March. These dates are in line with school breaks and holidays. During this time, couples often spend more time together, which often highlights issues within the marriage and leaves both spouses thinking about their options. Family vacations and holiday trips, which take families out of their school and work routines, often make it all too easy for unhappy spouses to notice and reflect on their partner’s shortcomings.
How to Prepare for Divorce
While spring and summer breaks may be a significant source of stress for those in unhappy marriages, it’s important to take your time, consider your options, and prepare for the next step—whether or not that next step is divorce. Waiting until a marriage has reached the point of no return can lead to rash decisions, a rush to find legal representation, and animosity on both sides. If you think divorce may be inevitable, get everything in order before making a final decision. Schedule appointments with a divorce attorney and your financial advisor. It’s good to have an idea of how much debt you have, how much equity you have in your home, and the value of any other assets you may have.
If you want a divorce, it’s important to communicate clearly and openly with your partner. This discussion should be had when both parties are calm, rather than during the middle of a heated fight. While divorce is never easy, you can take steps to make it less painful for everyone involved.
Protecting Your Children
Children are one of the most common reasons that couples hold off on divorce. There’s no doubt that divorce can be traumatic to children, but in many cases, it’s less traumatizing than living in an unstable household with unhappy parents who are always fighting.
Working with a divorce attorney and going through mediation with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse can help you act in the best interests of your children. Many divorcing couples have chosen to move away from the traditional adversarial divorce model in which everything from custody to asset division is used to try to get revenge on the other party. A solution-focused divorce model allows both parties to advocate for their rights during the divorce process while maintaining open communication and laying the groundwork for a strong coparenting relationship.
The Benefits of Legal Counsel
Even if you and your partner are on the same side regarding how you want to proceed with the divorce, it’s crucial to hire competent legal counsel. An experienced divorce attorney can explain the long-term implications of any agreements or concessions you make during the divorce process, allowing you to make more informed decisions. If there are areas where you and the other party cannot come to an agreement, allowing divorce attorneys to do most of the difficult negotiation allows you to minimize your direct involvement and preserve your coparenting relationship.
Dedicated legal counsel can also save you a considerable amount of time during the divorce process. Divorce is a complicated legal process that requires a substantial amount of paperwork and documentation, which can be difficult to manage on your own if you’re also moving, learning to parent on your own, and juggling work responsibilities.