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How divorce can be contagious

The various factors that come together to influence whether a Florida couple decides to divorce or stay together may seem primarily internal. It shouldn't matter what other couples are doing in their marriages. However, perhaps surprisingly, recent findings suggest otherwise.

One study concluded that if a person's close friend goes through a divorce, that individual is 75 percent more likely to get divorced as well. The more divorcees one knows, the more startling the numbers. For those who have multiple divorced friends versus mostly married couples in their social circle, divorce is almost 150 percent more likely. These statistics, however, don't tell the whole story.

There is nothing contagious about divorce. Furthermore, experts emphasize that a good marriage won't suddenly go south because the couple observes others splitting up. The reasons have more to do with the couple than their friends. While marital conflict has been an existing issue, seeing others have the strength to move on can be an inspiration to do what ultimately is the right thing for all concerned.

No one should contemplate divorce lightly or for the wrong reasons, but there may come a time in a relationship when staying together is more destructive than a clean split. The process of mediation often helps with this realization. A divorce lawyer can help craft an agreement regarding the family law issues of property division, child custody and alimony to allow the couple to move forward. If necessary, a divorce attorney could even litigate to obtain a fair settlement.

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