Social contagion theory may explain increase in divorce

On behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA posted in Prenuptial Agreements on Friday, May 16, 2014.

People in Maryland may have heard about an interesting study that followed residents in another state to determine how certain social factors impacted the state of their marriages. Fascinatingly, simply knowing somebody who got a divorce increased the chances that a person would get a divorce themselves.

The study showed that 75 percent of the people in the study were more likely to get a divorce if they had a friend who was divorced. But the impact didn't stop there, as people were also 33 percent more likely to get a divorce even if only a friend of a friend also got divorced.

Most people these days know somebody who has recently gone through a divorce, so this study could be cause for concern for married people. In fact, many people in the younger generations are taking a more skeptical look at the entire institution of marriage, and those that do decide to marry are rightfully taking a cautious approach.

Nobody goes into a marriage expecting a divorce, but there are things people can do to plan for the future to make it easier if a split eventually becomes inevitable. Many couples consider entering into a prenuptial agreement, a pre-marriage contract that provides wealth protection and peace of mind in the event of a divorce. Under Maryland law, each party is eligible to receive an equitable share of the couple's marital property, but the prenuptial agreement, or prenup, can provide more specific direction and even override typical state property division laws if the prenup contract is properly executed.

The prenuptial agreement can cover most aspects of property division, so that people who enter a marriage with substantial assets can be assured that they will be able to exit a marriage with that wealth largely intact. While divorce might be inevitable for some couples, fortunately a long, costly and painful divorce proceeding can be avoided with the use of a prenup and the counsel of an experienced divorce attorney.

Source: 740 KTRH "Study: Divorce May Be Contagious," May 5, 2014