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Divorce more common among people with divorced friends

20142140_S.jpgSocial groups have a strong influence on the lives of people in Missouri. When spouses in unhappy marriages have friends, relatives or co-workers who have ended their marriages, divorce risks rise. A study that looked at the peers of 5,209 men and women determined that the risk of divorce goes up by 75 percent when a spouse has a close friend who goes through a divorce.

Having coworkers who have ended marital difficulties through divorce bumped up a person's chance of divorce by 50 percent. Divorced siblings had a smaller effect on people but still raised their divorce rates by 22 percent.

One attorney said that seeing a good friend moving on after marriage could make someone view divorce as a solution. If that friend went through an amicable divorce and appears happier, that outcome could make a person consider divorce more favorably.

Another divorce attorney attributed the phenomenon to peer pressure. She said that people also get married or start having children after their friends start to do those things. They might believe that they have to follow that course and end up getting married or starting a family for the wrong reasons.

When a person does not see a marriage improving, legal advice about the divorce process could be valuable. An attorney could offer guidance about the necessary documents that must be filed with a court. Other information about parental rights, child support and property division could also be explained by an attorney. Furthermore, legal counsel could help a client navigate the emotional decisions necessary to divide assets and negotiate a child custody agreement.

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