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Divorce: The Most Stressful Major Life Event

Divorce: The Most Stressful Major Life Event

Of the 951 people who took part in the survey and had experienced going through a divorce, 78 per cent found the process stressful.

What is it that makes divorce the most stressful life event?

Two leading family law solicitors share their views on what makes getting divorced so distressing and give their top tips on making the process easier.

Liz Cowell, a senior family solicitor, said: “I always warn my clients that for some, divorce can feel worse than bereavement. This is because when a spouse dies all the survivor’s friends and relatives rally round. This doesn’t tend to happen following a divorce. However, by forewarning my clients they are able to prepare themselves for what is to come by building a support network of friends and family they can rely upon for emotional support.

“In a divorce, the matrimonial home may well have to be sold. Divorce often involves the loss of a home, relationships and it can be extremely expensive. This is why it is vital that clients take a calm approach. If people are able to follow this advice, and come to an amicable divorce, it can reduce their costs and in some cases enable them to maintain a civil relationship with their ex.”

Fiona Wood, another leading family lawyer, added: “Moving house as a result of a divorce so often adds to stress. This is especially the case for those who did not initiate the separation and wanted to remain in their family home.

“The Which? Mortgage Advisors survey reveals that the vast majority of those divorcing find the breakdown of their marriage a very stressful experience. I know it can take some people years to come to terms with their new situation. But the divorce process itself does not have to be stressful and bitter.

“Many couples reach agreements regarding their children and finances without the need for the assistance of the court. They can do this via mediation, collaborative law or arbitration.

“Most people are able to start moving forward emotionally more easily after the legalities of the divorce have been finalised. This is why I work so hard to get clients results in a timely manner.”

Given this advice, it appears that the ideal situation would be to try and reach an agreement as quickly as possible to reduce the stress. The quicker an agreement is made the more it could potentially reduce the distress which this highly emotional situation causes.

There are several options and routes to consider as a relationship breaks down whether this be mediation, collaborative law or arbitration. People have to choose the best available option in their circumstances in order to reduce their stress as much as possible.