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August is a time of change. Schools get ready to reopen and summer slowly fades into fall. For couples in struggling marriages, August is also one of the year's peak months for divorce filings, according to research by two University of Washington sociologists.

The professor and PhD candidate analyzed divorce filings for the past 15 years here in Washington, finding that August and March are the two most popular months for people to file the paperwork that launches divorce proceedings.

Filings begin to taper off in September and continue to do so through the end of the year, according to the researchers. Divorce filings hit their low point in December before they rise sharply in January.

The authors of the new study believe it likely that unhappy couples file for divorce after December holidays and Valentine's Day. Later in the year, couples schedule divorces to follow summer vacations. For some couples, those vacations turn out to be the proverbial last straws in the relationships.

Many observers have long noticed that divorces slow to a trickle in the days right before Christmas. It makes sense, of course, especially when divorce will involve children and disputes over child custody.

For those King County residents facing the possibility of divorce, an experienced family law attorney can help you understand all your options and help you navigate a difficult time.

The skilled lawyers of O'Brian & Associates will also help you create a parenting plan that protects your children's best interests as you protect your rights as a parent.