The Case for Calm: The Stress of Divorce

Divorce is stressful.  I know this and I have witnessed the impact of divorce and separation.  I have seen hundreds of clients over the years and one thing is clear: everyone responds to  divorce differently.

How you respond is important, and I’ll get to that later on, but let me start by outlining some of the symptoms of stress that I have seen:

  1. Inability to focus.
  2. Sleep problems.
  3. Anxiety.
  4. Anger.
  5. Depression.
  6. Not eating.
  7. Overeating.
  8. Substance abuse.

Anxiety,  anger, and depression are, by far, the biggest symptoms I see in my practice.  From many conversations with other divorce lawyers, I know we all see the same thing.   These signs of stress are a daily part of my practice.   They are usual and to be expected as part of any divorce.

I know that life is stressful enough already.  When you add the divorce process on top of job issues and other family issues, it is easy to become overwhelmed.  However, it is important that stress be addressed before the symptoms have an impact on your case.

Symptoms of stress can impact a divorce case in many ways.  Here is a short list:

  1. Inability to follow through with necessary documents and preparation.  A client that can’t focus can help in his or her own case.
  2. Inability to appropriately communicate with the other party.  This is a big problem in custody cases.  A client who is stressed out and angry will often take the anger out on his or her spouse.

How to deal with this stress?  There are many ways.

  1. Counseling.  In counseling the professional will suggest many ways to deal with stress.  For example, the counselor may help the patient put the divorce in perspective or frame the problem in a way that helps the spouse deal with it in a more productive way.  A qualified counselor may also give advice about avoiding stressful situations and recognizing other ways to deal with the stress of divorce.
  2. Physical exercise.  I know that this can help the mind and body deal with stress.
  3. Self-help.  There are books on how to deal with stress, web sites, and other resources.  Use them.
I don’t think there is any way to eliminate stress from a divorce.  However, picking the right lawyer can make the process less stressful than it might otherwise be.  Interview several lawyers.  Listen to the legal advice and get a sense of how you think you will get along with each.

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Raleigh divorce lawyer Scott Allen handles alimony, child support, equitable distribution, modification of custody, child custody, and temporary custody hearings and has over seventeen years of experience.  

If you have questions or need assistance call him at (919) 863-4183 or email at sallen@allenspence.com.