Is Divorce Contagious Amongst Friends?

Is Divorce Contagious Amongst Friends?A long-term study on the social effects of divorce found that people are more likely to divorce when others in their social circle have already divorced. According to the data, a person’s likelihood of divorcing increased by:

  • 75 percent when a friend divorced;
  • 147 percent when multiple friends divorced;
  • 22 percent when a sibling divorced; and
  • 50 percent when a co-worker divorced.

Researchers refer to groups of friends divorcing around the same time as divorce clusters. Some observers have wondered whether divorce may be contagious – not as a virus but as a social influence. A friend’s divorce may help you decide to divorce but is unlikely to be the cause of your divorce.

Living Evidence

Many divorcees needed years to conclude that their marriages were broken beyond repair and they were better off getting divorced. Uncertainty about your life after a divorce may keep you in a marriage that you know is not working. When a friend divorces, you have an example of what life after a divorce may be like. Your friend’s experience may give you a positive impression of divorce if he or she:

  • Seems happier than during his or her marriage;
  • Is able to support him or herself financially;
  • Has quality parenting time with his or her children; and
  • Has started other meaningful relationships.

Encouraged by your friend’s experience, you may be more willing to risk divorcing and starting a new life. However, you were already leaning towards divorce before your friend influenced you.


You will naturally compare your own marriage to your friend’s marriage when you are discussing his or her divorce. When your friend mentions problems in his or her marriage, you will empathize by sharing your own marriage experiences that may be similar. Through your discussions, you may focus on the negative parts of your marriage and realize what makes you unhappy. This does not automatically lead to divorce because you can choose to work on these problems with your spouse. However, you are considering divorce as an option if your marriage does not improve.

Motivation for Divorce

People can pressure themselves to get married or have children because their friends are doing so. You will not feel the same social pressure to divorce because it is not one of your life’s goals. A Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can assist you once you have made the difficult decision to divorce. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.


Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

 555 S. Randall Road, Suite 200
St. Charles, IL 60174


 1770 Park Street, Suite 205
Naperville IL 60563


 400 S. County Farm Road, Suite 300
Wheaton, IL 60187


Our Illinois divorce attorneys represent clients in Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and DeKalb County, including Geneva, Batavia, St.Charles, Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, Virgil, Lily Lake, Aurora, North Aurora, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Crystal Lake, Gilberts, Millcreek, Maple Park, Kaneville, LaFox, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Bristol, Newark, DeKalb, Sycamore, Naperville, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Lombard, Oak Brook, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Schaumburg, Big Grove, Boulder Hill, Bristol, Joliet, Kendall, Lisbon, Minooka, Montgomery, Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville and many other cities.

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