Have you ever been in a situation where one of your friends buys something new and you start thinking that maybe you should also buy something? Maybe it is a car, something for your home or just some new clothes. Is this just case of “keeping up with the Joneses” or is there something more going on? Because when it comes to divorce, new research shows that their actions just might be contagious.
The study conducted by both Harvard & Brown Universities along with the University of California, San Diego, found that if you are married, you have a 75 percent more risk of divorcing if you have friends who have split. In addition, couples are 33 percent more likely to divorce if they even know a friend of a friend who has gone down the path of divorce.
Why is this happening?
The researchers believe that if someone can see firsthand a couple going through a divorce, it can seem more real and permissible. Viewing another couple’s divorce can also give people an understanding of the process and may even give them the information they need to prepare for such an undertaking. Divorce can be a scary and nerve racking endeavor for most people, if people see others getting through it, they can get the confidence to go through with it also.
How contagious is it?
This does not mean that if your close friends are all getting a divorce that soon you will be too. Happy couples with a good relationship do not show any signs of being negatively impacted by a divorce they can see close-up. Having a discussion with your spouse about a friend’s divorce may even strengthen an already solid relationship.
If you are considering a divorce, you may have your friends, but the process will be made much easier with the help and assistance of a divorce attorney. If you are struggling with getting answers to how child support works, property division or even alimony, you should get legal consultation right away.