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Why Brad and Angelina May Be Part of the Seasonal Divorce Spike

author image Laura Hertzfeld
Laura Hertzfeld has reported on entertainment, business, and lifestyle topics at a variety of outlets, including Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles Magazine, Tablet, and NPR.  She holds a degree in history from Barnard College, Columbia University.
Why Brad and Angelina May Be Part of the Seasonal Divorce Spike
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have split after 12 years together. Photo Credit: Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Ten years together, six kids, multiple houses and … a divorce. Hollywood royalty Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have split after two years of marriage, citing “irreconcilable differences.”

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Not surprisingly, breaking up is just as rampant in Tinseltown as it is in the rest of the country. About 40 to 50 percent of U.S. marriages end in divorce.

And in the case of Pitt and Jolie, the stars really are “just like us” when it comes to the timing of their divorce. New research suggests that more marriages are apt to unravel during the holidays and over the summer, stemming from the stress of family being together and kids being out of school.

A University of Washington study found that divorce filings “consistently peaked in March and August, the periods following winter and summer holidays.”

In Brad Pitt’s case, this theory has held true twice: He and famous ex-wife Jennifer Aniston separated in early January 2005 and divorced in October of that year.

“They’re very symbolically charged moments in time for the culture,” UW associate sociology professor Julie Brines said in a press release. “They represent periods in the year when there’s the anticipation or the opportunity for a new beginning, a new start, something different, a transition into a new period of life. It’s like an optimism cycle, in a sense.”

Regardless of the timing, the most difficult part of any divorce that involves a family is what happens to the kids. Pitt and Jolie have six children together, and Jolie has asked for full custody.

Pitt said in a statement: “I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the well-being of our kids. I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time.”

While any divorce is tough — and even tougher under the watch of the tabloids — Pitt and Jolie have some great role models in Hollywood for staying parents together, even if not as a couple.

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, who split in 2015, are working it out. She told the “Today” show back in March: “The kids are great. They’ll be getting up and going to school soon, and Ben is there and he’ll be taking them. We will make it work.”

Gwyneth Paltrow, who was engaged to Pitt in the mid-1990s, and her former husband Chris Martin have set the gold standard for “conscious uncoupling,” even going to Disneyland together earlier this year.

And Bridget Moynahan, who was married to Tom Brady and has a son with the football star, even supported the Patriots’ win at the 2015 Super Bowl.

What Do YOU Think?

Was the Brangelina split a surprise to you? Share your comments below!

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