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Family Law Blog

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Divorce and stress

It costs the British economy approximately £71.1m per year according to the NHS. The personal cost is immeasurable. Its victims make up an estimated 70% of those out of work. Stress. We’ve all heard of it and at some point during our lives (probably more than we’d care to admit) we’ve all suffered from it. It’s fair to say that with the current pandemic has added to stress levels for many.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and what one person may find stressful another won’t. Therefore almost anything can cause stress and it has different triggers. Some common causes of stress can include: money problems, work-related stress, relationship or other family problems, moving home or starting a new job. Sometimes, there are just no clear causes of stress.

Divorce as a cause of stress

Going through a divorce or relationship breakdown can be one of the most stressful situations a person can find themselves in. You lose your friend, partner, confidante and have to adapt to living as a single person, often as the primary carer of children. This is a time of extreme and mixed emotions made more complicated by the stresses and worries of legal and financial considerations as well as having to support and counsel any children that may be involved and suffering too.

Every individual going through a relationship breakdown will deal with this in their own way. Some prefer to carry on as though nothing has happened, others find it cathartic to talk to someone about their problems. It’s fair to say that anyone going through a separation or divorce is going to experience a series of emotional stages post-breakdown. These could range from anger and depression to fear and frustration. All perfectly normal feelings and reactions to an emotionally difficult situation. It’s important to recognise these feelings but to try and stay positive. Sometimes the support of friends and family is enough to see a person through, others may need more help such as counselling or medical advice.

Clear legal advice can alleviate some of the stress

In addition to addressing the emotional difficulties, it is also important to deal with the practical matters. Get some financial advice, find out about welfare benefits and most importantly, get specialist legal advice. Believe it or not, good advice from a solicitor can go a long way to alleviating fears and stress. You will no longer feel like you’re going into the unknown and although it is a daunting time, having an experienced solicitor by your side can be a godsend.

Solicitors have, in the past, earned themselves a rather nasty, money-grabbing reputation. We’re not all that bad and in fact most family solicitors are keen to assist without wishing to exacerbate an already tense situation. Most will also want you to avoid costly legal proceedings.

Whatever sort of advice you need, get it early. Be well informed, gather all your information and go through it with your solicitor. They will help you look at things from a more objective, less emotional point of view and will advise you to avoid conflict. It’s difficult to do, but it is possible.

Communicate through your solicitor

If you are one of the unlucky ones who finds themselves at total loggerheads with their ex over everything, then use your solicitor to communicate. Listen to your solicitor. They’re the professional and they deal with this every day. They can advise you what’s worth arguing over and what’s not and they can encourage negotiations. It may not sound like much on paper, but it all adds up to a less stressful separation.

We live in a hectic society with an ever increasing amount of pressure applied to our every day lives. Added to this is the ever increasing number of couples separating and divorcing. However, it is important to recognise if you have a problem and to deal with it swiftly. Counselling and mediation services are in more demand than ever before, so make good use of them. And lastly, look after yourself. Eat properly, get plenty of sleep and, if necessary, go running, do yoga, or whatever it takes to unwind. Don’t become another stress statistic!

Blog Author - Andrew Woolley

Andrew Woolley Andrew Woolley

Andrew is the owner and managing partner of Woolley & Co. He regularly offers comments and views on a range of family law issues.

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