Can the divorce of a loved one boost your chances of divorce?

Do you know someone in Morris County who has been through a divorce? Perhaps you’ve experienced a close relative or a close friend reach the end of his or her marriage. If so, then you’re probably aware of some of the difficulties involving divorce. Divorce can put a lot of pressure on the people involved, and there may even be evidence that it can negatively affect others who are close to those going through the divorce.

Everyone knows that a cold is contagious, as are many other types of illnesses, like the flu or other viruses. However, could it be possible that a failing marriage is also contagious? According to a new study by researchers at Brown University, divorce is indeed contagious. The study found that three-fourths of all the participants in the study were more likely to end up divorcing if they had a friend who was divorced. Meantime, even those who had a friend of a friend who got divorced were more likely to divorce as well.

The researchers, who conducted the study, which was done over a 30-year period, say that the results are an example of a “social contagion”, which is the spread of information, behaviors and attitudes via family and friends, as well as social other networking platforms. Although one psychotherapist isn’t so sure that divorce is contagious, she does recommend that couples avoid associating their friends’ marriage situations with their own.

Divorce is not an easy thing to go through for anyone. However, whether or not it is contagious probably depends on many factors. In any case, if you are heading toward divorce, then you should probably seek the help of an experienced divorce attorney before you make any important decisions.

Source: CBS New York, “New Study says divorce can be contagious,” April 30, 2014.