Divorce is a harsh reality for many marriages. This week we looked into divorce patterns our lawyers have noticed while working with clients. We learned that children play a huge factor in when and why couples choose to divorce. Additionally, money is a large concern for divorcing couples. Couples need to be able to afford to divorce; the poor economy is keeping some couples together because they cannot survive without a joint income. Below are three patterns and trends in divorce that our legal resources shared with us this week.
1) Seasonal Divorce
There is a season for everything–even divorce. Couples with children often wait until the end of the school year to start the divorce process. This is in an effort to help the children adjust to the divorce before the new school year begins. Attorney Christina M. Scott of Scott Law Offices explains:
“Typically, the Christmas season and the very start of a school year tend to be times that some parties want to avoid filing for divorce. I have also experienced clients who choose to file towards the end of the kids’ school year so as to have everything resolved before the new school year begins. On the whole, people file for divorce when they are ready and this can be at any time throughout the year.”
While there may be spikes in divorce at the beginning of summer, couples ultimately will divorce when it is right for them.
2) Children Delay Divorce
Married couples with children oftentimes stay together for their children, long after their romantic relationship has disappeared. Children are the glue that keeps marriages together. Therefore, high school graduations can bring divorce. Bruce Ailion of RE/MAX Greater Atlanta confirms:
“Many people divorce after children graduate from high school so graduations are a seasonal trigger.”
3) Money Encourages and Discourages Divorce
Money is a huge factor in divorce. Couples need to be able to afford a divorce and to live independently on their own without a combined income. On the other hand, arguments about money are also a huge stress on a marriage and can encourage divorce as well. Attorney Michele Colucci of MyLawsuit.com shares her take:
“I think the poor economy has encouraged divorce for high earners and discouraged it for low earners. There was a great article in the New York Times a few years ago that, more or less, noted that money is often the glue that holds marriages together.”
Altogether, marriages will dissolve when and if the couple sees it as appropriate. However, we can continue to expect to see couples taking their children and their financial situation into account upon divorce. Arguments about money encourage divorce, while lack of money can encourage couples to stay together, simply to keep their heads above water.