Knowing someone who has divorced could increase a person's chances of getting divorced. That was the main takeaway from research conducted at the University of California at San Diego, Harvard and Brown. Specifically, a person is 75 percent more likely to get divorced if a friend has gone through such an event. If a friend of a friend gets divorced, a person's chances of also divorcing increase by 33 percent.
This is partially because it gives an individual the opportunity to learn more about the divorce process. It also causes a person to assess his or her own relationship and decide whether it is worth staying in a marriage. One woman said that most of her friends avoided her after splitting from her husband. Ultimately, those friends had issues in their own relationships that came to the forefront.
However, it is possible to use a friend's divorce to take steps to strengthen an individual's own marriage. Ideally, a couple will spend 16 hours a week together, and 6 of those hours should be spent outside of the house. Putting in that time can make a person's current marriage seem fresher and more exciting. Couples should talk to each other about issues in the relationship and find ways to resolve them without having to end the relationship.
In a divorce, it may be necessary to divide marital property or if a person is entitled to alimony payments. These and other decisions may be made through private talks, mediation or litigation. An attorney may provide assistance to those going through a divorce regardless of how a settlement is reached. Those who have children may want to try mediation as it can be less stressful and work to preserve relationships between parents.