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Divorce may be contagious among friends

Divorce has become increasingly common for married couples in New Jersey and in other states compared to decades ago. Researchers who analyzed divorce statistics have reported that divorce is more common for individuals with close friends or family members who recently filed for divorce.

Researchers at Harvard, Brown University and the University of California at San Diego found that subjects with a friend who recently got divorced were 75 percent more likely to become divorced. Subjects with a friend of a friend who recently got divorced were 33 percent more likely to get divorced.

For those who are struggling in a marriage, close friends who file for divorce may become a source of information about the process. Some people may feel that if their friends have successfully filed for divorce, they are ready to go through the process as well. Seeing a friend get divorced may reduce the feeling of shame and stigma associated with getting a divorce.

Divorce may seem more appealing when a friend appears happier after getting divorced. Research on this topic suggests that people mimic what is happening socially around them.

An attorney experienced in family law may be able to assist individuals who are contemplating divorce. Divorce laws vary state by state, so an attorney who is familiar with this area of law may be assist clients in understanding how divorce works in their state. Understanding the legal process can be key to a successful divorce. A family law attorney may be able to alleviate much of the stress that comes with filing for divorce by providing legal advice, negotiating with opposing counsel, obtaining important documents related to financial information and child custody and advocating for divorce litigants in court.

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