Mental Health Considerations During Family Law Matters and COVID-19 Crisis
Even in the most amicable of divorce matters, most individuals will experience feelings of loss and sadness at some point during their case or in the aftermath. When there are children involved, the stress and anxiety can manifest in a more heightened and intense manner for all parties involved. Let’s not mention the ever-changing situation involving the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, which leaves most of us in one of the most uncertain seasons of our lives. If ever there was a time for one to prioritize their mental health, it is now! If you are at the beginning of a divorce or custody case, get help immediately, don’t wait until this chapter of your life is over because there is no guarantee how long it will take. This might mean seeking the assistance of a mental health professional to learn healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with your stress, attending a support group for people in similar situations, or learning the importance of diet, exercise, and healthy living practices. One doesn’t need to have a formal diagnosis of a mental health illness to be proactive in determining the resources available in their community to help them. Even visiting the National Network of Depression Centers Online, here, or the Center for Disease control website, here, is a powerful step in the right direction.
From a practical perspective as an attorney, if a client isn’t taking care of their mental health amid their legal matter, it can make their attorney’s job extremely difficult. Even if one isn’t actively litigating in court, untreated mental health illness(es) may prevent one’s ability to effectively communicate with their attorney. This can look like a client struggling to return phone calls, missing appointments, or forgetting to complete basic tasks requested by the attorney. It’s also important to recognize that one’s attorney is not equipped to stand in as a substitute for the mental health professional. This is not only an inappropriate role for an attorney but can be very costly for a client if they attempt to utilize their attorney in that manner. Further, we can all appreciate that our individual mental health obstacles do influence those around us, especially children. Therefore, it is critical that you seek the resources available to empower you to help yourself during these stressful times.
It is imperative that clients prioritize their mental health through the duration of their case regardless of their reasons for doing so. This will look different for every client. At the family law firm of Morris Williams LLC, our attorneys also make our clients mental health a priority throughout the course of the attorney/client relationship by providing resources and assistance from start to finish. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or (757) 266-9425.