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Study finds divorce can be contagious for some couples

A study has found that couples in New Jersey and elsewhere are more likely to divorce if they have a personal friend who has divorced. The study was conducted by researchers Brown University, Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego.

Researchers found that married people are 75 percent more at risk for divorce if they have friends who have split up. The study also found that couples are 33 percent more likely to divorce if they know a friend of a friend who has ended up in divorce court. Experts say the reason for this phenomenon is that seeing other couples end their marriage makes divorce seem permissible. Another couple's divorce also helps people learn what's involved in the process and helps them figure out how to prepare.

However, experts also say that couples with good relationships won't be negatively impacted by a friend's divorce. Instead, discussing a friend's split could actually help strengthen an already solid relationship. Likewise, couples who are going through a rough patch could also use a friend's divorce to help save their relationship. For example, discussing what went wrong in someone else's marriage could help a struggling couple find helpful solutions before it's too late.

Going through a divorce can be a difficult and emotional experience. However, the situation could be made easier with the help of a divorce attorney. The attorney could evaluate the case and provide personalized advice throughout the divorce process. Legal counsel could also alleviate a client's stress by negotiating favorable agreements on child support, alimony, and property division. Those considering divorce could learn more by scheduling a legal consultation.

Source: Winnipeg Free Press, "Science suggests divorce contagious", Danielle Braff, Aug. 20, 2018

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