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Study of Massachusetts divorce information provides insight

The topic of separation can be a difficult one for any couple to broach. Could that topic, however, be easier to discuss if friends of the couple have gone through divorce? A recent study has examined data from participants in Massachusetts that could indicate the likelihood of a couple separating if they have a friend or friends who have gone through divorce.

A research team at Brown University gathered information spanning over 30 years regarding marriage, divorce and remarriage. As attitudes and behaviors of friends and family members have been found to be adopted by other friends and family members, it does not come as much of a surprise that divorce could be considered one of these adoptable actions. According to their findings, couples were approximately 75% more likely to go through separation proceedings if they had friends who were divorced.

Their findings do not stop there as it was also indicated that friends of friends who are divorced can increase the likelihood of a couple's chances of divorce by 33%. However, statistics showed that individuals with a large group of friends were less likely to divorce possibly due to having a stronger support system. Further results also indicated that those who were divorced were more likely to remarry someone who had also been divorced.

It is unclear what impact -- if any -- this study may have on other divorce statistics. Nonetheless, for whatever the reason, divorce is an unfortunate reality for many Massachusetts couples. The processes can, at times, be long and tiring, but having the proper information on state laws regarding separation proceedings could make for a smoother transition for those involved.

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

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