Couple are more likely to divorce in March and August, new research suggests.
Scientists have found evidence of a seasonal pattern of splits which spike during the two months of the year. However, the researchers have said that it is no coincidence that these are the periods that traditionally follow winter and summer vacations.
Last month, a survey had found that one in 10 couples were likely to break-up while on holiday together.
The survey also found that 40 per cent of couples are likely to argue at least once a day while on vacation, with over a quarter quarrelling from day one.
Presented at an American Sociological Association meeting in Seattle, the research suggests that divorce petitions are driven by a “domestic ritual” calendar governing family behaviour.
However, holidays are often emotionally charged and stressful periods, which may reveal cracks in the foundations of a relationship.
“People tend to face the holidays with rising expectations, despite what disappointments they might have had in years past”, said Professor Julie Brines, of the University of Washington.
“They represent periods in the year when there is the anticipation or the opportunity for a new beginning, a new start, something different, a transition into a new period of life. It is like an optimism cycle, in a sense.
“They are very symbolically charged moments in time for the culture.”