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Anxiety and divorce

Divorce and depression and anxiety can go hand in hand. It is likely that you will experience some degree of anxiety and/or depression during your divorce.

It is important to watch out for signs of anxiety, whether you are simply considering divorce, or going through the process. This is not to be confused with simply feeling uneasy, in the same way depression should not be confused with feeling sad. Many people do not understand how anxiety can affect people and can therefore be unsympathetic to those who suffer from it.

If you believe you are suffering from anxiety, please consult a professional. While a family lawyer may encounter situations such as these frequently, they are not qualified to help. Good mental health can make the process of divorce and separation so much easier to handle so getting help such as counselling or seeing your GP will be invaluable. It is not a sign of weakness but a sign that you are dealing with it.

Divorce and separation are a time of significant upheaval and it is not uncommon to feel all at sea however sometimes those worries become all consuming. Here are a few signs that there may be more than just stress at play.

  • Exhaustion

    People who suffer from anxiety can become mentally and physically exhausted. What they’re going through can feel overwhelming and the urge to simply stay hidden in bed all day can be almost impossible to fight against. This goes beyond simply wanting a lie-in as the prospect of emerging from the sheets can seem daunting.

  • Dread

    While some people look forward to what the future may hold, for others these thoughts create feelings of dread. Those struggling to deal with what is happening in the present may start to believe that the future can only get worse.

  • Becomming consumed

    People with anxiety become consumed with the thought that the worst possible outcome is somehow inevitable and that nothing can ever go right for them.

  • Obsessing over mistakes

    A mistake will happen and a person with anxiety will spend hours, maybe even days, obsessing over it.

Divorce and mental health information

  • Divorce and depression facts

    Depression, similarly, is more than ‘feeling down’. While it includes feeling unhappy, it also includes feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem, a loss of enjoyment in things you previously enjoyed and physical symptoms such as low appetite and lethargy.

    Depression can be triggered by many things, divorce included. Again, talk to a medical professional if you believe you are depressed.

  • Divorce psychosis

    Divorce psychosis is not an official medical problem. That being said, it is possible for divorce to be the trigger of unrelated psychosis or schizophrenia. If this is the case, it is highly unlikely that the affected person will be deemed mentally capable to agree to a divorce or financial settlement.

  • Divorcing someone with mental illness (UK)

    As divorce and child custody lawyers, we know that mental illness is not confined to be an after-effect of a divorce. We frequently advise clients who are wishing to divorce from a partner who is struggling with mental illness, someone struggling to manage their divorce because of their own mental illness or a family breaking down due to a child with mental health issues.

Divorce and mental capacity

The main consideration is whether the party with mental health concerns has the capacity to provide instructions and to agree to a divorce or financial settlement.  Under English and Welsh law, a person’s mental capacity is judged according to the decision that needs to be made. For example, can they understand the relevant information relating to a financial settlement to make an informed decision?

Mental health and divorce settlement (UK)

If there are doubts over someone’s capacity, a doctor must undertake an assessment to determine whether they can make the specific decisions they face.

If the doctor decides that a party lacks capacity, it is possible to progress the case if a representative, a ‘litigation friend’, is appointed to act on their behalf and make decisions in their best interests. This can be a friend or relative if there is no conflict of interest. If there is no one suitable, the official solicitor can be appointed to represent the unwell party, but this is not necessarily a straightforward task, and consideration still must be given to other factors, such as how the case will be funded. In such a way, the case can still reach a settlement despite one or both parties’ mental health issues.

This may be an arrangement that you or your partner would benefit from. If you believe it us, talk to a child custody solicitor like Stowe and they can help.

Contact Stowe, mental health and divorce law (UK) specialists

We are Stowe Family Law solicitors, and we have extensive experience helping people at the crossroads of divorce and mental health. Whether you or your partner are experiencing mental health issues, we can help with a hands-on approach to divorce cases, using all of our expertise to make things easier for you.

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