The Contagion of Divorce?/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on May 5, 2014


A recent article appeared in which the authors of a study theorized that divorce can be “contagious”. People hear of others who get divorced and then decide to do the same. The thought of divorce has been planted. There is much to say in favor of such a theory. However, I have another concern about the contagious nature of divorce.

Hatred breeds hatred and enmity breeds enmity. Once the atmosphere of discussion has been tainted, the action of confrontation brings an equal and opposite reaction. Sometimes, it brings a greater reaction. It then spreads to children, extended family, and friends. The snowball effect is specific and dangerous. The way to avoid this? Don’t play the game. Act firmly and civilly when you negotiate. Talk with your opposing party with purpose but respect. There is no short-cut. Mediate and do not litigate. Do not allow the contagion a chance to spread.