Contact us today. We want to help.

Is divorce contagious? A new study suggests that it's spreading

Achoo! That cold you have could be contagious -- but could you also be catching divorce? A new study out of Brown University shows that New York residents and others may actually be more likely to go through a divorce if they see a friend or relative experiencing the process.

This trend is known as "social contagion." Although it does not involve the spread of viruses or bacteria, it does include the dissemination of information, behaviors and attitudes through families and social groupings. Thus, although divorce itself might not actually be contagious, the emotional response to certain marital troubles could certainly spread.

The study shows the danger that can come along with attempting to identify too closely to friends' and relatives' experiences. It may be tempting to associate these people's situations with your own, but that is not always a wise decision. In many cases, emotional responses and connections may be imagined or created, and they are not authentic to the couple who is being influenced.

This study analyzed data for thousands of participants over three decades. Results showed that about three in four participants were more likely to pursue divorce if a friend has already gone through the process. Further, 33 percent were more likely to divorce if a friend of a friend dissolved a marriage.

No matter whether you have "caught" divorce or not, it is important to realize that divorce legal issues can be difficult to manage from an emotional and practical standpoint. Remaining level-headed throughout property division and child custody negotiations may seem impossible, but it is important for your rational senses to prevail. No two divorce cases are alike -- make sure that you are not taking specific actions just because your friends set an example. Instead, evaluate your choices to make sure they fit your values and legal needs.

Source: CBS New York, "New Study Says Divorce Can Be Contagious" No author given, Apr. 30, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
peer rated for highest level of professional excellence NYSTLA nassau county bar association the american trail lawyers association new york state bar association

Contact our firm today
Call 800-491-9306 or fill out the form below to schedule an appointment at our Garden City, New York, office.

Contact the Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Weinstein, Kaplan & Cohen, P.C.
1325 Franklin Avenue
Suite 210
Garden City, NY 11530

Toll Free: 800-491-9306
Fax: 516-877-7760
Garden City Law Office Map