IS DIVORCE CONTAGIOUS?

I have just come back from a few days in France, during which I read Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point.” The book talks about how events that were, at one point unusual become common place, styles that were uncommon suddenly become all the rage. One example he used was Hush Puppies, a shoe that went out of fashion suddenly came back into fashion for no other apparent reason than a few people started to wear them, then a few more, then a few more and then the ‘tipping point’ is reached and suddenly they are the height of fashion and what everybody wants to wear.

He gives another example of yawning. If you read about people yawning, even just the word ‘yawn’ or see people yawning, then what do you want to do? Yawn yourself. It’s contagious.

is divorce contagious?Is divorce contagious, is it more common than it used to be? Is there a point at which it becomes so common place that it loses it’s significance? Certainly there are trends and I have written before about the growing trend that I see, of divorce amongst those aged 55 and over, often coinciding with the children leaving home.

For my parent’s generation, divorce was unusual. Now we have a situation where, in my daughter’s class at school, she and one other are the only children whose parents are not divorced. So the situation where children are spending weekends with different parents becomes the norm. Is this a good thing or not?

Obviously for people trapped in unhappy marriages it has to be an advantage that divorce is made as easy as possible with practical help and support, and no social stigma – but if it becomes too ‘easy’ does it mean that people don’t try to make marriage work?

Well, as someone who deals with divorce everyday, I have yet to find anyone whose separation is at all easy. Even if you are the one who is initiating proceedings, it is full of emotional and financial difficulties. Although it might be becoming more common and more acceptable, it is still never easy. My job is to try and help people going through a divorce or separation and to make it as un-contentious as possible, and certainly I would also say that the more that can be agreed and the more that can be dealt with in a civilised and non adversarial way – the better. But it is never easy.

For more information on any aspects of divorce or separation please contact Nicky Gough on 01608 686590 or by email: nickygough@cotswoldfamilylaw.co.uk