Research has established a link between divorce and poor mental health. Resolution commissioned a YouGov Survey, published in 2020 and found that 41% of divorcees who separated in the last 5 years had suffered episodes of poor mental health.
Indeed, the majority of those (63%) felt that if they had access to early professional advice, their experience of divorce and that of their family’s would have been significantly improved.
Research also shows that minors aged between 7 and 14 at the time of the split exhibit a 16% rise in emotional problems, such as anxiety and depressive symptoms, and an 8% increase in conduct disorders. This research was reported by the Guardian just before the Pandemic.
Unfortunately, the Pandemic saw a spike in divorce numbers and despite the subsidence of the COVID threat, other social and economic pressures have seemingly taken over. This means families are still under severe pressure. Disputes such as divorce, a known contributor to the poor mental health of the parents and children involved, will therefore only exacerbate the perfect storm of a mental health crisis that is seemingly emerging in the UK.
We have established already in our article 'The Law needs to give protection to married and unmarried couples | Developments with the ‘Common Law marriage’ and complications with cohabitation' that fewer couples are choosing to acknowledge their relationship by way of a legal partnership such as marriage or civil partnership.
Therefore, arguably more relationship breakdowns or disputes, divorce or not, will impact the mental health of the parents and children. Legal practitioners need to be aware of these risks.
Regardless of our client’s issue, we look to find ways of mitigating the negative impact on their mental health. We believe the following methods are the most effective:
Thankfully, the toll divorce and indeed any family dispute can have on the mental health of an adult or a child, is becoming more recognised. However, more can be done to actually assist the mental health of clients when these situations arise. Hegarty Solicitors is committed in ensuring the mental health of our clients is at the forefront of our work and service.