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The post-summer holidays divorce trend – what’s going on?

A study conducted by the University of Washington found that there has been a sharp increase in divorce filings in August and September every year between 2001 and 2015. The same seasonal pattern is found here in the UK too, with law firms throughout the country reporting a rise in divorce filings at key times such as after Christmas and after the summer holidays.

There are a number of reasons why divorce solicitors believe this trend occurs every year, such as:

High expectations of a ‘make or break’ summer holiday

Couples who are struggling to make things work may be putting too much pressure on the summer holidays. Associate sociology professor Julie Brines, who co-authored the University of Washington research report, believes that troubled couples see holiday periods as a time to start afresh. They approach the summer holidays with high hopes that things will be better after that one dream holiday or quality time spent as a family. If nothing changes or their high expectations are not met, they end up re-evaluating the relationship as the summer holidays end. This can lead to divorce filings in some cases.

Spending too much time together

Family lawyer Claire O’Donnell, whose law firm Lake Legal saw a 20% rise in divorce enquiries in September 2015, told the Express:

“Most families look forward to the summer holidays hoping to enjoy quality time together.

“But in reality when couples spend more time in each other's company this can put them under pressure and can drive them to the brink of divorce. It's a test of even the strongest of relationships.

“When the whole family is thrust together for a long period there are bound to be flashpoints with arguments about everything from money and boredom to who is using the iPad charger.

"Even the most trivial of arguments can escalate, creating divisions which pile on the pressure.”

Financial pressures of the summer holidays

If you have children, the school holidays can be an expensive as well as an emotionally charged time. That dream ‘make or break’ holiday can put pressure on your finances, leading to stress, anxiety and arguments about money.

Empty nest syndrome

The end of the summer holidays also marks another important milestone in family life – sending children off to university. This can leave couples with what is known as empty nest syndrome. With a newly empty home, couples are left with no choice but to face marital issues. For some married couples, one or both parties have been waiting to separate until this particular moment – having stayed together for the sake of their children.

If you need help or advice with divorce or any other aspect of family law, contact Wirral divorce lawyer Tracey Miller Family Law. Simply call 0151 515 3036 and we’ll be happy to help with whatever situation you’re facing.