Does re-partnering behavior spread among former spouses?

New research from Equal Lives shows that relationships with former partners continue to influence people’s lives even after a split.

The study by Zafer Büyükkceçi looked at on individuals’ re-partnering behavior following a divorce and asked whether divorcees influence each other’s new union formation.

The research used Dutch administrative data to identify divorced couples and examined interdependencies in their re-partnering behavior going forward.

Findings showed that the probability of re-partnering increased within the first two years following a former spouse’s new union formation.

Further analyses focusing on formerly cohabiting couples rather than divorcees also revealed significant associations in re-partnering behavior. Following a former romantic partner’s new union formation, women were exposed to risk longer than men, due to men’s quicker re-partnering.

Commenting on the research, Zafer said:

Overall, the findings showed that the consequences of a divorce or breakup are not limited to the incidence itself and former romantic partners remain important in each other’s life courses even after a breakup. With the increasing number of divorcees and changing family structures, it is important to consider former spouses as active network partners that may influence individual life courses.

Does Re-Partnering Behavior Spread Among Former Spouses? is research by Zafer Büyükkceçi from the University of Cologne and is published in the European Journal of Population