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People often view pregnancy as being contagious. When one person is pregnant, it seems that other people have the urge to get pregnant too. Sometimes, the same is true for marriage in California, with one person’s wedding sparking other people to get married as well. According to new research, divorce also seems to be like a flu bug that many people catch at the same time.

The Brown University study indicated that divorce can be contagious. For instance, a loved one’s or friend’s divorce reportedly boosts one’s own chances of filing for divorce. In fact, about three-fourths of the study participants had a greater chance of getting divorced if a companion had gotten divorced.

In addition, a third of the participants had a higher chance of divorcing if the friend of one’s friend was the one to dissolve a marriage. This concept is known as social contagion, where other family members’ and friends’ behaviors and attitudes affect one’s own actions. After all, another person’s emotions can easily influence how one feels about his or her own life.

However, the divorce of the friend of the friend of one’s friend is not as likely to impact one’s own chances of getting divorced, according to the study. No matter what causes a divorce, carefully handling the financial aspect of a divorce proceeding is critical. Fortunately, professional assistance can help guide the parties to a successful conclusion. Otherwise, a person may not get the alimony, child support or the correct share of community property to which he or she may be entitled in California.

Source: CBS New York, "New Study Says Divorce Can Be Contagious", , April 30, 2014

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