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Family vacations influence seasonal divorce trends, experts say

Fighting over money and spending less time together tend to be perceived as indicators that a marriage is heading south, but experts believe there could be another risk factor that most people in New York are not aware of. Family vacations are often depicted as a time for loved ones to relax and spend time with one another, but packing up the minivan could also increase the risk of divorce. This seems to fall in line with the apparent seasonal spike in divorce filings.

Researchers first combed through divorce rate data and found a striking pattern that indicated filings increase during March and August. They then considered other possible influencing factors, including employment issues and the economy, but they found that the trend stayed true even when accounting for these factors. Ultimately, the researchers tied the increased filings to an American tradition -- the family vacation.

This is apparently true for both summer and winter vacations. It is possible that vacations, which are often perceived as an opportunity to address issues, actually exacerbate ongoing conflict and tensions. One expert also pointed out that couples tend to go into vacations with high expectations, and when the stressful aspect of traveling hits, marital cracks can break even farther apart.

Researchers took the study a step further and determined that other family law issues also fall in line with seasonal vacations. While this does not necessarily mean that New York couples who take family vacations are destined to divorce, it is helpful to understand the different factors that can ultimately influence divorce. Still, no matter the unique and varying reasons behind a couple's decision to divorce, they must still handle property division, potential alimony and, in the case of parents, child custody and support.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Do Vacations Increase Your Risk Of Divorce?", Douglas LaBier, Sept. 21, 2016

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