Paper cutouts of family with a heart breaking between them

Steps to Avoid Depressed (and Illegal) Behavior during Divorce

Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. Oct. 15, 2020

Going through a divorce is often an emotional and overwhelming experience. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in 2018, there were 782,038 divorces and annulments in the United States. A divorce or legal separation can affect several aspects of your life, including your family, friends, work, children, finances, and assets. In fact, divorce is known to elevate the risks of depressive episodes, especially in people who have a history of depression. It’s important that depression during the divorce is taken seriously as it could potentially lead to illegal behavior which could negatively affect the outcome of the divorce agreement.

If you’re going through a divorce and experiencing depression, it is important to talk to a knowledgeable Pennsylvania divorce attorney immediately for detailed guidance and to protect your rights. I’m committed to helping clients through difficult transitions in their lives. As your legal counsel, I will offer you the experienced legal guidance, advocacy, and support you need and help you navigate key decisions in your divorce proceedings. Allegheny Attorneys at Law proudly serves clients throughout Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding communities of Shaler Township, Ross Township, and Fox Chapel.

Depression and Divorce

Transitioning to single life after a divorce can take some time. During this period, you will likely experience a range of emotions that may include unhappiness, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or anger.

Where depression occurs, it may manifest itself through behaviors such as:

  • Avoiding family and friends

  • Ignoring responsibilities

  • Being indifferent

  • Performing poorly at work as a result of lack of motivation or focus

  • Picking up fights unnecessarily

While not everyone responds to depression in the same way, the resulting behaviors can be detrimental to the individual’s physical and emotional well-being.

Symptoms of Depression

While depression is largely associated with sadness, there are many symptoms that a depressed person may exhibit including:

  • Loss of appetite

  • Insomnia or sleeping difficulties

  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating

  • Loss of interest in activities you previously enjoyed and hobbies

  • Loss of hope

  • Easily irritated

  • Crying spells

  • Fatigue or unnecessarily tired

  • Lost sense of worthiness

  • Thoughts and attempts to commit suicide

Recognizing that you may be suffering from depression can help you initiate steps to overcome it.

How Depression Can Affect Your Divorce Agreement

Depression can affect your divorce agreement in several ways. Examples include:

  • Going to a bar, overdrinking, and then driving and receiving a DUI.

  • Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism may make you give up and not fight for what is yours.

  • Infrequent contact with representatives and missing court deadlines due to lack of motivation may lead to case adjustments, or the case may be awarded in favor of the other spouse.

  • Inability to provide instructions or agree to divorce settlements due to deteriorating mental health.

  • Feeling of regrets and sadness could result in the inability to make informed decisions pertaining to divorce or financial settlements.

  • Becoming intoxicated and acting out in ways that lead to legal issues including fighting and domestic abuse.

If there are doubts regarding the capacity of one of the spouses, he or she should be assessed by a physician to determine whether they can make decisions about divorce or financial settlements. A representative may be appointed if the doctor decides that the spouse lacks mental capacity.

Tips for Avoiding Depressed Behavior

If you know you are prone to depression or feel like you may be experiencing depression, it’s important to seek help. There are also several steps you can take to avoid depressed behavior such as:

  • Avoid stressful activities

  • Ensure that you get enough sleep and rest

  • Take adequate breaks from work to recover

  • Practice breathing exercises and meditation

  • Eat a healthy diet daily to boost your mental well-being

  • Avoid alcohol or drug use

  • Avoid being lonely by maintaining contact with family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances throughout the divorce proceedings

The more steps you can take toward maintaining your emotional well-being, the better you’ll be able to withstand the changes that come with divorce.

Depend on Allegheny Attorneys at Law to Guide You

Going through a divorce can be emotional. Trying to balance the divorce with mental health issues can make it even more complicated. If you’re going through a divorce and experiencing depression, consulting with a knowledgeable divorce attorney is crucial for detailed guidance.

Allegheny Attorneys at Law is dedicated to providing comprehensive legal services and helping clients maintain their rights and well-being. As your legal counsel, I will offer you the support and assistance you need as you transition through this difficult period.

Contact Allegheny Attorneys at Law today to schedule a one-on-one consultation with an experienced Pennsylvania divorce attorney. I represent clients throughout Pittsburgh, Shaler Township, Ross Township, and Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania.