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Massachusetts study finds divorce may be socially contagious

Many in Massachusetts may look at their family members and friends and think that everyone is getting divorced. While that certainly is not true, a new study suggests that divorce may be contagious. According to the study, conducted in Massachusetts by Brown University, found that 75 percent of those who had a friend divorced were more likely to get divorced themselves. Also, 33 percent of those who had a friend of a friend get divorced were more likely to file for marriage dissolution. Researchers say the increased chance of divorce can be attributed to "social contagion," where attitudes, behaviors and information are spread and shared amongst groups of family and friends.

Though some may use a friend's divorce to analyze their own marriage and mimic their friends' action in filing for divorce, it is not wise to exactly follow a friend's divorce plan. Divorces are like fingerprints: they are all unique. Depending on a couple's financial situation, the specific assets and debts they have, the number of children they have, and the sacrifices made by each party during the marriage, certain divorce legal issues may arise and be settled differently than in another case. Therefore, seeking the help of a Worcester Divorce Lawyer may be helpful for those considering divorce.

A family law attorney can help a divorcing party assess his or her situation and address issues such as division of marital property and debts, child custody, child support, and alimony. By discovering and valuing assets for example, an attorney can fight for equitable division. This does not necessarily mean assets will be divided equally, but rather they will be divided in a way that is fair. Such arguments for fairness can also be utilized in alimony and child support disputes.

Whether or not divorce is contagious is up for debate. Yet, it is hard to deny that social attitudes and behaviors are influenced by those around us. However, an individual who is considering for divorce should not let those influences guide their legal decisions. Instead, they should think about obtaining help from a qualified legal professional whose only job is to represent his or her best interests.

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

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