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When a couple decides to separate, it can be for any number of reasons. It has come into question through a recent study, however, whether divorce could be considered "contagious," as couples who have divorced friends are statistically more likely to become divorced themselves. If these statistics are considered to hold significant weight, Washington couples could find themselves reconsidering some friendships.

The recent study confronting this issue was conducted through a group at Brown University. Through their research, they analyzed information regarding three decades worth of marriage, divorce and remarriage data. The team came to the conclusions that parties participating in the study were 75 percent more likely to divorce if they had friends who were divorced. Further findings indicated that they were 33 percent more likely to divorce if friends of friends were divorced.

As a result, divorce may be on the verge of being considered a "social contagion". This type of contagion -- considered to be a behavior or attitude -- spreads to individuals through information passed between social networks, including friends and family. Therefore, if a friend becomes divorced, others may adopt the same behavior or attitude toward their marriage and become divorced themselves, theoretically.

Whether a couple is the first to divorce among their friend group or has been affected by divorced friends, it is important for anyone contemplating divorce to remember that it is a serious process to go through. It can be very difficult at times when it comes to working through certain proceedings such as property division or child custody. Whatever the reason for the separation may be, information on Washington state laws regarding divorce and what it could entail may provide beneficial insight on the process for concerned parties.