Mental Health divorce

Protecting your Mental Health when divorcing


Going through the breakdown of a relationship, or divorce, can bring an untold number of stresses and anxieties. People worry about their future financial position. They fear losing mutual friendships, the unknown future, and some feel that divorce still carries a stigma of shame and failure. As a result, people will internalise their emotions and attempt to struggle on as though unaffected.

This presents a significant risk to mental health, self-identity and an increased sense of isolation. If there is a need to issue court proceedings for a financial remedy order (for a judge to determine the split of marital income and assets) or determine arrangements for any children, the process can be daunting and lengthy, causing additional strain and worry.

It is important that individuals identify if they are experiencing and of the following symptoms, especially during periods of big life changes, as the following can be signs of low mood and/or depression:

  • Anxiety and panic
  • Difficulties sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Anger and/ or frustration
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Increased tiredness
  • Low mood/ sadness
  • Low self- esteem
  • Tearfulness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Loss of interest in things/ activities that previously brought joy
  • Thoughts of self- harm or alike

How to support your mental health during a divorce/separation

Support network – when feeling low your primary thought may be to retreat to the security of your bed. But connecting with those close to you and who can support you will provide a welcome distraction in helping you to feel happier.

Express yourself – do not hold your emotions in as this can prove detrimental. Talk to friends, family or even a therapist/counsellor to give you a sense of release. If there are children involved, family group counselling sessions can also be an option.

Create – focusing on artistic outlets can give your mind a period of respite. Painting, drawing, dancing, sewing, etc, have been known to boost energy and positive thought processes.

Mindfulness – think and write down the things in your life that you remain grateful for, recall your fondest memories in gratitude of those experiences in order to decrease senses of overwhelm.

Be healthy – while it will be desirable to reach for sweet treats to seek comfort, eating well, exercising and aiming for 7- 9 hours of sleep per night will, in the long run, improve your mood too.

Seek professional help:

  • Solicitors – can take away the stress and confusion of navigating the court process. They can advise you of the different options available so that you can make an informed decision about the direction of your matter.
  • Divorce coach – like a personal mentor, if you are unsure whether you want a divorce, a divorce coach can assist you to work out if a divorce is right for you. A divorce coach provides emotional and practical support during a separation. Should you choose to progress with a divorce, a coach can assist you through the process and with personal matters. Once a divorce is finalised a divorce coach can also provide you with assistance to determine what your life will look like moving forward.
  • GP – should you feel that the pressures of a relationship breakdown are difficult for you to manage do speak with your doctor who can assess the need for a prescription or make alternative referrals to suit your needs.

How Pinney Talfourd can help

Pinney Talfourd offer services For Life, so when dealing with your divorce we can put you in touch with professionals such as divorce coaches so that you receive the very best support. If you are going through a relationship breakdown or are considering a divorce, please contact one of our lawyers to find out your options. We offer a free 30-minute consultation.

The above is meant to be only advice and is correct as of the time of posting. This article was written by Shevonne Weir, Solicitor in the Family team at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of April 2024.



Shevonne Weir

Shevonne Weir


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