The physical and mental toll that stress takes upon people is well-documented in recent years. Now a new study focuses on divorce’s impact. There is a certain amount of stress (and hopefully cause for some optimism) tied to divorce. Still, this study is the first to evaluate a participant’s well-being immediately after the separation.
This was possible because the study was conducted in Denmark, where they finalize the divorce at the time of filing. This is counter to how it is in the U.S.: For example, Michigan has a 60-day (the couple has no children who are minors) or 180-day (the children are minors) cooling-off period where the couple may be separated but not divorced.
The study found that people dealing with divorce were, unfortunately, worse off than the average Dane. Peoples’ pain was tied to the prolonged experience of relationship distress that prompted the breakup.
Common feelings include:
- Guilt or shame that the relationship did not work
- A belief that there is something wrong with them
- Stress over the financial change involved in divorce
- Stress over the parenting plan
- Stress over conflicts with spouse and co-parent
It is part of the process
The greater the conflict, the worse the impact is upon the couple. Children also can suffer a great deal if there is parental conflict. So, the takeaway here is that it is natural for couples who file to have negative feelings.
While those who think that the marriage was damaged often feel relief, they can help themselves by acknowledging and processing these negative feelings as part of the recovery process. Processing these feelings can also lead to new life goals and reestablish themselves as individuals who are not married.
Support can help the healing process
The researchers checked back with subject and non-subjects one year after their divorce. Both were doing better than they were, so time does indeed heal wounds. Researchers also pointed out that those who had support from family and friends had faster and stronger recoveries.
A family law attorney can also be a huge benefit for clients involved in high-conflict divorces. Not only can they handle much of the communication, but there is also the peace of mind in knowing that a legal professional protects their client’s individual and parental rights until the divorce is final.