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Survey: Mental health increasingly a factor in divorces

October 26, 2017

Family law attorneys are encountering more mental health issues among the spouses and children going through a divorce, according to a recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

A full 67 percent of attorneys have noted a rise in the number of divorces impacted by mental health issues in the past three years.

“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.

Other findings from the survey include:

• 81 percent of the attorneys say the divorce process is made more challenging when the parties involved have mental health issues;

• 57 percent of AAML members have seen an increase in the number of children having mental health issues;

• 63 percent of the lawyers have found that these particular issues for the kids make the overall divorce process more challenging.

“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 recognize any unique difficulties that might arise,” Slowiaczek said. “In addition, attorneys should help these particular clients form an individualized set of expectations that could ultimately help to control levels of anxiety and stress for them and their children.”

Founded in 1962, the AAML has a membership of 1,650 matrimonial attorneys throughout the country.   

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