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Melissa A. Featherston

Why do divorces spike after vacations?

As we head towards the end-of-year holiday season when couples and families spend more time together, either at home or away, the results of a sociological study might be interesting for couples who are looking toward this season to mend a troubled marriage.

Researchers from the University of Washington found that vacations can place added stress on a marriage and expose the problems already there, but perhaps brushed under the carpet while couples focus on work and other obligations. The fact that people look toward vacation time with the expectation that it will improve their marriage and let them start fresh only places more strain on these vacation times. When it doesn't happen, they become disillusioned, and many make the decision to finally call it quits.

It's no coincidence, according to the researchers, that divorce filings spike in August and March. August follows summer vacations while March follows the holiday season. Both are part of the "domestic ritual" calendar that many families follow.

While August follows summer vacation more closely than March follows the holiday break, many couples move quickly after returning home because they want to file for divorce before the kids head back to school. Interestingly, court filings regarding other family law issues, such as guardianship changes, follow a similar seasonal pattern.

One psychologist notes that couples should not wait until vacation time to deal with their conflicts. By then, it may be too late. It's better to recognize and address them throughout the year. If you do make the decision to divorce, an experienced Missouri family law attorney can help you get things in order and do as much preparation as possible before filing.

Source: Huffington Post, "Do Vacations Increase Your Risk Of Divorce?," Douglas LaBier, accessed Oct. 19, 2016

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