Is practically everyone you know divorcing?

Divorces seem to occur in clusters. For instance, a respected couple divorcing may show other couples that they will be okay if they split.

A study that tracked couples in Framingham, Massachusetts, found that if a good friend of theirs got divorced, the couple was 75 percent more likely to split as well. The study took place over 30 years, so that is a lot of food for thought. And in Connecticut, it may seem as if a similar phenomenon is at work.

More socially acceptable

If a couple that someone respects announces they are divorcing, the announcement confers a sort of legitimacy onto divorce. It may lead to thoughts such as, "If they are brave enough to divorce, I can be too. Why should I have to put up with being ignored?" The more divorces that occur, the more common and socially acceptable divorce becomes.

More support

If a husband or wife is unhappy and considering divorce, he or she may be more likely to file if emotional support is available. Often, the support comes in the form of someone(s) who has recently undergone a divorce or who is going through the experience at the moment.

Timing

Many couples who are friends are of similar ages. They have experienced milestones at about the same time. For example, some big steps are marriage, birth of their first child, the last child leaving the nest and so on. Quite a few events during the course of a marriage can cause the stress that leads to divorce. So, it makes sense that similar events close in time would have similar outcomes.

That last little bit

For someone unhappy in his or her marriage, seeing someone else divorce is external validation that may serve as a call to action. Otherwise, the person may have just stayed in the marriage, perhaps trying to make it work, perhaps suffering in silence. Moreover, seeing another person go through the process is informative as it prepares people for what to expect (seeing that someone can come through feeling empowered, for example, even if the process is exhausting and draining).

Moving toward divorce

Of course, just because everyone seems to be divorcing does not mean the process is easy. Each situation is different. One spouse may end up with sole custody of the children as well as the house, while someone else in a similar situation gets very little. So many considerations go into divorce, such as whether the couple has children, a prenuptial agreement and lots of property.

It is easy for emotions to cloud divorce proceedings in Connecticut. People who are considering divorce may want to get in touch with an attorney to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.