Managing mental health during separation and divorce

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from Monday 13th May to Sunday 19th May. It’s therefore a good time to consider how mental health can be affected by separation and divorce.

Managing your emotions during a divorce or separation is undoubtedly a challenge for most people. It’s a period of time when the future seems uncertain and there may be many issues to consider and balance, such as where the children will live, what will happen to the house and who will look after the dog. Each of these issues comes with their own set of emotions, and as a result feed into an increased potential for conflict. This can be a very demanding time for anyone’s mental health.

When dealing with a separation, it’s easy for people to get caught up in  these issues and to forget about their own wellbeing. As family solicitors, we often advise and assist people who feel like they may be struggling to find their way through the conflict of a separation. We see people become so entrenched in the other person’s emotions and the circumstances of the separation that they forget to look after themselves. In our role, we concentrate on the legal aspects, ensuring that these are dealt with properly, while also managing expectations. However, it is just as important for people to recognise that there are other services available, which aim specifically to help people work through their emotions, especially where their separation is stuck in high conflict.

These services can be a great resource for separating couples, as they allow people to focus on themselves, as well as the legalities of their separation. This can help to make dealing with the legal matters easier, as people often feel they can express themselves more clearly when giving us instructions, allow themselves to think more pragmatically without worrying how the other person might react, and generally feel more prepared for whatever the future might hold. I would therefore encourage people going through a separation to always take time out to look after themselves.

If you would like further information or advice, please speak to one of our expert family lawyers.