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Is divorce contagious? Some think so.

The impact divorce has upon families is serious and wide ranging. Many have written about how parents can pick up the pieces or how to make the transition go more smoothly for the children.

Apparently, the impact goes further than one might imagine. There is a new study by researchers at Harvard University, Brown University and University of California, San Diego that finds that people are 75 percent more likely to get divorced if they have a friend who is divorced. That dips to 33 percent if a friend of a friend gets divorced.

According to another researcher at the famed Kinsey Institute who wrote the book "Anatomy of Love," people see a friend get divorced, ask why they choose to do it, and then they look at their own lives. The rationale becomes: "If they can do it, I can do it, too."

Friends may stay away to avoid their own issues

According to a certified divorce coach who went through divorce herself, her own friends literally would step back or shield their husband if she started talking about her own divorce. This happened for years. Then she realized that they were having their own issues, and her divorce forced them to consider the possibility of facing divorce themselves.

Beat the odds or throw in the towel?

Stronger marriages can survive the turmoil of a friend or family member getting a divorce. Perhaps a couple can learn to recognize the danger signs and work to avoid those same mistakes. However, those numbers cited above indicate that the opposite effect is quite common.

If you are contemplating divorce, a conversation with an experienced Board-certified Family Law expert attorney can help put your future life in perspective, explaining the legal options and the details of dividing assets, parenting plans, the cost, and other issues which you may not have considered. This can help you determine if the "Joy of Divorce" it is something you wish to pursue at present, or determine what, if anything, you are waiting for.

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