Couples in California may be more likely to get a divorce in August than during any other time of the year. A study from the University of Washington found that this was the month in which divorce rates peak, and some attorneys back this up with anecdotal evidence.
There are several reasons for summer divorces. One explanation is that some couples think they can work on their marriage over the summer. This is often unsuccessful, and in some cases, it can even add more stress. The emphasis on family bonding can highlight the problems in the marriage. August is often when the children head to college, and facing an empty nest, couples may go ahead with the divorce they have been putting off for years.
Some couples know that when summer comes to an end, they are going to file for divorce. They may want their children to have one last memory of a fun summer together as a family. There could be vacations that are already planned and paid for. Other couples may want to avoid divorcing during the school year but also want to give their children time to adjust before the Christmas holidays. Finally, the summer may offer more opportunities for infidelity.
During the divorce process, couples have to contend with a number of difficult issues relating to division of property and child custody. Since California is a community property state, marital property is supposed to be split equally unless there is a prenuptial agreement. In practice, couples who are able to negotiate an agreement may have several options for reaching a settlement. Similarly, crafting a child custody and visitation schedule does not necessarily require going to court. Negotiations may create a healthier foundation for co-parenting after the divorce and allow parents to create the schedule that works best for their children.