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Summer Break Divorces: 20 Percent of Parents Admit Summer Vacation Puts a Strain On Their Relationship

By Julia Lynn Rubin | Aug 23, 2013 02:00 PM EDT

Father and Son In Swimming Pool
Pool chemicals injure thousands every year. (Photo : Reuters)

While children look forward to summer vacation from school all year, it may be a very stressful time for their parents. New research suggests that holidays from school can put quite a strain on the marriages of parents, causing many couples to consider divorce following the long break, the Daily Telegraph reports.

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In a new study by British law firm Stowe Family Law, 18 percent of parents polled admitted to having reassessed their marital relationships or considered divorce or separation after summer vacation came to an end, and 20 percent admitted they felt a strain on their marriage following the summer break. The new report suggests that pressure to juggle work with childcare and the resulting financial stress, as well as spending "too much time in each other's company," may drive some parents crazy.

Over half of parents polled "said they experienced an increase in domestic arguments during the summer months," the Daily Telegraph reports. Divorce lawyers confirmed that they tend to see an annual spike in inquiries every autumn, as many parents find themselves experiencing an increase in financial pressures come fall.

"Our experience, based on the clients we see at our offices across the country, is that parents may give their marriages 'one final go' over the holidays, or delay any proceedings until the children are back at school because they don't wish to spoil the family's break," Marilyn Stowe, senior partner at Stowe Family Law, told the Daily Telegraph. "The grass isn't always greener on the other side. I suspect that a relationship in trouble may be too damaged to be rescued by a holiday - but can easily be broken by it. " 

If parents work full-time during the holidays, childcare fees can rack up their bills, in addition to the expected summer family vacations. 

The report found that the trend was most marked in London, a city with an extremely high cost of living, where childcare can be quite a financial burden. "This year we have seen summer childcare costs climb over £100 per week for the first time," Stowe said, adding that costs for childcare are growing "faster than wages, or inflation."

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