Mental health issues are making matters significantly worse for families going through divorce, new research has found.
 
Divorce can already be one of the most difficult life experiences families can go through, but according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), mental health issues of spouses and their children are increasingly making the process even more challenging for the participants. 
 
In a recent survey of its members, the AAML found that 67% of attorneys have seen a rise in the number of divorces impacted by mental health issues during the past three years.  An overwhelming majority (81%) of the respondents say that mental health issues of the parties involved are making the divorce process more challenging.
 
“Divorce is never an easy process for anyone and having to manage a mental health issue at the same time can unfortunately magnify many of the most negative aspects of the experience,” said John Slowiaczek, president of the AAML.  “It is essential for a spouse to be open with their attorneys about these challenges at the beginning of the divorce and work together to recognise any unique difficulties that might arise.”
 
“In addition, attorneys should help these particular clients form an individualised set of expectations that could ultimately help to control levels of anxiety and stress for them and their children,” he added.
 
In terms of the children of parents and step-parents who are divorcing, 57% of the AAML members have seen an increasing number of them having mental health issues. In addition, 63% of the lawyers have noted that these particular issues for the kids are making the overall divorce process more challenging.
 

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