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Most Washington residents no doubt know someone who is divorced. In fact, in many cases, it is not uncommon to know several couples who have divorced. Studies show that whether or not a friend’s divorce was considered successful and amicable or was wrought with contention and settled only after a long, drawn-out court battle influences other couples’ decisions who may be considering filing for divorce.

It seems that if a concerned spouse has a friend who appears to have moved on in life and successfully adapted to a post-divorce lifestyle, that spouse may be more likely to file for divorce if he or she is struggling in marriage. Analysts say that seeing a friend who is happy after divorce may give an unhappy spouse confidence that he or she needs to call it quits in a marriage. On the other hand, having a friend who is even more miserable after divorce than he or she was in marriage might make someone cautious when it comes to his or her own situation.

Some people say that divorce is contagious, meaning when spouses see their friends rebounding and starting afresh, they are more likely to want to do the same. When children are involved, things can be especially challenging. It may help to talk to other divorced friends who also happen to be parents to ask what advice they might have to help children cope.

Studies also show that friends tend to follow the paths other Washington friends have trod regarding getting married or having babies. When someone has several friends doing these things, he or she is more likely to follow suit. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that the same can said for divorce. Once the decision to divorce is made, it can be helpful to connect with an experienced family law attorney.