Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices
“Train up a child in
the way he should go
and when he is old,
he will not depart
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Proverbs 22:6

Can you catch a divorce?

The divorce rate in the United States is close to 50 percent today, so chances are many Dallas residents know someone who is divorced. Do you?

Maybe a friend of a friend who you have met once or twice recently called it quits with her husband, or your brother and his wife just announced that they have decided to part ways. While some people may be upset upon hearing of a friend or acquaintance's divorce, it is likely that few look deeper than that. The results of a recent study, however, show that maybe you should.

A study conducted at Brown University found that the divorce of someone you know could increase the risk that you will also get divorced. Essentially, researchers found that divorce is contagious.

After studying thousands of people, researchers determined that you are 75 percent more likely to get a divorce yourself if a close friend or family member divorces. Interestingly, the divorce of a friend of a friend also makes you more likely to divorce. If a friend of a friend goes through a divorce, your chances are upped by 33 percent. The divorce of a person who is separated from you by three degrees or more, however, will have no bearing on your own relationship.

As some Dallas residents know, there are many factors in any given divorce. While the divorce of a friend may be one of those factors, it is not likely to be the only thing that causes a couple to split up.

Source: Pew Research Center, "Is divorce contagious?" Rich Morin, Oct. 21, 2013

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