The reason for this season is leaving, at least for married couples ready to call it quits. Divorce tends to follow seasonal patterns, finds a team of sociologists from the University of Washington in a paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.
March and August consistently ranked as the months that saw the highest number of divorces based on data from Washington state between 2001 and 2015. Although there was some volatility in filings during times of economic stress, over the period, filings peaked after the winter and summer holidays.
But what about the stereotype of families feuding during Thanksgiving and Christmas?
RELATED: Marriage's Bumpy History: Photos
Based on the data, the researchers suggest that instead ending a marital relationship during the holidays is almost taboo. If anything, couples try to get past their differences for the sake of the holiday season.
"People tend to face the holidays with rising expectations, despite what disappointments they might have had in years past," said co-presenter Julie Brines in a statement.
That holiday glow doesn't last, if it even existed at all, and in beginning in the new year, couples take the steps necessary to initiate a divorce. That pattern repeats year after year, leading to a spike in broken marriages in March.
Holidays are also a time when Americans are highly stressed about financial concerns, according to survey data (PDF), and money is among the most common reasons for divorce.
August is at the tail end of the summer vacation season, but before school starts, which the researchers believe offers a window to separate and leads to an uptick in filings.
RELATED: Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster Wedding
The findings out of the University of Washington are backed by reports posted on legal sites. The legal services site Avvo.com in 2014 reported a 40% surge in searchers for divorce lawyer in the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day. Around two-thirds of that user group are women.
Similarly, the legal information site FindLaw.com in 2012 conducted an analysis of divorce filings and searches and found that March had the highest number of divorce filings and searches. Between December and January, however, the website found a 50% spike in searches for divorce and related terms like "family law" or "child custody."
According to government data, both the total number of divorces and annulments across the United States have gone down as have divorce rates. In 2014, the last year for which data are available, couples filed for 813,862 divorces or annulments across 45 states and the District of Columbia, with the divorce rate standing at 3.2 per 1,000 total population.
WATCH VIDEO: Which Countries Allow Same-Sex Marriage?