Tag Archives: divorce trends

Is There a Peak Season for Divorce?

season, Wheaton divorce lawyersRetailers often consider the holiday season–late November through the end of December–as their peak season. But once Christmas and New Year’s end, does that signal the start of peak divorce season? A recent study published by a major university suggests it just might.

Sociologists Identify “Twin Peaks” in March and August

Last August, sociologists at the University of Washington presented the findings of a comprehensive survey of 14 years worth of divorce data from Washington State. Specifically, the researchers examined divorce filings from 37 of Washington’s 39 counties during the period from 2001 to 2015. What they found was there were consistently two “peaks” in divorce filings each year: one in March and the second in August.

University of Washington Professor Julie Brines, who led the study, attributed the March and August spikes to the “domestic ritual” calendar surrounding family holidays. In other words, couples tend to wait until after summer vacation and the Christmas season to file for divorce. Brines noted holidays are “emotionally charged and stressful for many couples and can expose fissured in a marriage.” In particular, if holidays “don’t live up to expectations,” unhappy couples may be more motivated to seek divorce.

Brines suggested the reason divorce filings peak in March–a couple months after the holidays end–is that “couples need time to get finances in order, find an attorney or simply summon the courage to file for divorce.” As for the August peak, Brines said the start of a new school year might “hasten the timing” for divorce filings among parents with young children.

Pursuing Alternatives to Divorce Litigation

Regardless of when you file for divorce, it is important not to rush into the process based solely on emotion. Even under the most amicable circumstances, divorce is a complex legal and financial process. You need to carefully consider a number of factors, including your children, your assets, and your ongoing living situation.

For many struggling couples, the last thing they need is a long, drawn-out court battle. There are in fact alternatives to traditional divorce litigation. Illinois recognizes several types of alternative dispute resolution, including mediation, and collaborative law.

Mediation involves working with a trained mediator, a neutral third party who assists the couple in resolving issues such as child custody and spousal support. Collaborative law, by comparison, means each spouse hires their own attorney, but the parties still work together in a more informal, out-of-court process to negotiate a resolution to any outstanding issues.

If you are interested in pursuing either of these options, our experienced DuPage County family law attorneys can help. Contact our offices today to schedule a free consultation.




Latest Survey Highlights the Social Media and Divorce Connection

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, divorce surveysA recent UK survey solidified what many couples, divorcees, and lawyers already knew: social media is bad for marriage and contributes to divorce.

A survey of 2,000 married couples in England found that one in seven partners contemplated divorce because of their spouse’s activities on Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Snapchat, or WhatsApp. The survey also found a partner’s usage of these social media sites contributed to at least one argument per week in 25 percent of the couples surveyed. Seventeen percent of couples, however, said social media usage led to arguments every day.

Furthermore, more than half (58 percent) of those surveyed claimed they knew their partner’s password even if the spouse was unaware they did. The reasons for knowing the password and subsequently checking their spouse’s account are typical amongst most couples: checking to see with whom the spouse is talking, keeping tabs on where and with whom their spouse is going out, and to see if their spouse is telling the truth about a variety of subjects. Fourteen percent of spouses specifically stated they snoop their spouse’s account for evidence of infidelity. Also, finding evidence of contact with exes and sending secret messages or inappropriate photos were found to be other targeted causes of arguments and reasons to snoop.

Social Media a Large Factor in Divorce Cases

The British survey supplements one conducted last year in the United States. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 81 percent of divorce attorneys found an increase in the number of divorce cases over the past five years that used social media evidence to support a petition for divorce. Another 66 percent said that Facebook was their go-to site for finding online evidence for their divorce-seeking clients.

All in all, the trends are clear that social media acts as negative force in relationships, especially marriage. It fosters arguments (petty and serious) and promotes jealousy. However, for those seeking divorce, social media can serve as a useful tool for the necessary evidence to support a petition for divorce and aid in negotiations during a divorce battle.

Social media is playing a more prominent role in marriage and divorce. The right attorney can help you find the evidence you need to maximize your divorce, especially if the other party is at fault. If you are considering divorce, and have questions, contact the experienced DuPage County family attorneys at our firm for an initial consultation.

Study Shows Money Arguments Are Strong Predictor of Divorce Risk

Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, DuPage County divorce lawyer,People say money is the root of all evil, and it turns out that that sentiment may extend to the marital arena. A study from Kansas State University found that couples fighting about money turned out to be a strong predictor of their marriage’s strength. Interestingly, the strength of this predictor has nothing to do with the couple’s well-being. Regardless of whether the couple is carrying loads of credit card debt or living in a mansion, couples who fight over money see an increase in their divorce risk as compared to couples who do not.

The Study In Question

The study’s authors conducted their research using data from the National Survey of Families and Households. That survey is managed by the University of Wisconsin, and collected sociological data for thousands of families over a nearly 20-year span. The Kansas State researchers examined the data from that study for over 4,500 couples to see if they reported fighting over money issues. The researchers then compared the couples who fought over money with those who did not, making sure to only compare couples with similar yearly incomes, debt loads, and net worth. The results showed a significant increase in divorce risk for people who had monetary fights. Interestingly, the effect was limited to fights over money. Couples who fought over children or sex or other issues did not show the same level of increased risk.

Possible Explanations

The study’s authors found the results especially interesting because they are limited to fights over money, yet the effect transcends specific income levels or other measures of wealth. The authors put forward a few theories that may be able to explain the correlation, and why it only happens with fights over money. First, fights over money may reflect more significant issues. Control over the relationship’s finances can reflect the level of trust that the couple has for each other, as well as showing something about the relationship’s power dynamics.

Second, an increase in fights over money can be the result of external factors affecting the relationship. For instance, people who are fighting over money may be experiencing a job loss or other extra financial problems. These sorts of problems can place more stress on a relationship, and many couples cannot cope with it.

Finally, the conflict may stem from different core values about how to use money. Some people prefer to spend their money and enjoy it, while others prefer to save it in case they need it on a rainy day. If a couple cannot figure out how to cope with each other’s financial styles, this could spell trouble in the future.

All sorts of different events can trigger divorces. If you are considering filing for divorce, contact an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney to learn more about your rights.