The Negative Health Effects of Divorce on Your Loved Ones

Unhappy child

Divorce can be an extremely intense stressor on the lives of those going through the process. It can be difficult to sever a marriage, especially when the couple's affairs are greatly commingled and entangled, and hurt feelings and acrimony add fuel to the already blazing fire. The divorce can have serious health repercussions on both the divorcing couple and those close to them, and relate largely to the level of hostility that is projected throughout the process. Recent studies have shown the varied, negative health effects that divorce has had on men, women, and children.

Divorce Health Effects on Men

According to an article published in the Journal of Men's Health, higher rates of mortality, substance abuse, and depression are associated with men who were divorced or unmarried. In the study, married men had a mortality rate that was 250 percent lower than divorced or unmarried men, who were also more prone to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and heart attacks.

The likely reason for the disparity between the populations was due to the fact that the divorced men were involved in more hazardous activities such drug and alcohol abuse and also were more likely to become depressed, with a suicide rate at 39 percent higher than their married counterparts.

Divorce Health Effects on Women

Women are well-known to be greatly affected by divorce. In a study published by Iowa State University, it was shown that women who were affected by mental distress (as a result of the divorce) in the short-term, experienced significant long-term physical illness and health effects associated with the initial mental distress from a decade earlier. These negative health effects were duly largely to the financial status of the woman post-divorce.

The women evaluated who suffered significant financial hardship as a result of the divorce were more likely to have worse health problems a decade later than those who managed to be financially stable post-divorce. There was also a correlation between the health issues and where the woman ended up living; the more rural of a location where the woman was living, the more likely she was to suffer from serious and significant health problems.

Divorce Health Effects on Children

Children of divorce are also greatly affected by the experience, especially when the divorce happened at the beginning of their lives. In the study, a child of a divorce was found to have a harder time connecting with parents later on in life, as well as connecting with romantic partners.

Another study commented on the lingering effects that divorce has on children throughout the rest of their childhood and into their adult life. The U.S Bureau of Consensus found, in its most recent census, that an adult was 14 percent more likely to attempt suicide if their parents had gone through a divorce; the percentage shot up to 85 percent if the participant's parents abused alcohol within the home. Children of divorced parents were also found to have higher levels of C-reactive protein than their counterparts, which is associated with a great risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Though it is not necessarily the divorce itself that directly causes the higher risks of health issues among children of divorce, the separation may cause indirect effects due to emotional issues, poor performance in school, and inability to create close relationships with others.

With these most recent statistics, it is important that if you are contemplating a divorce or separation, you go about it in the most civil way as possible, if not for you own health benefits, then for the health benefits of your children. The most important factor in contributing to a fair and equitable divorce is to be open and honest about what your marital property is, what you want, what you do not want, and what you are willing to compromise on. It's also important to make sure that you both use your legal representatives to advocate for your rights, rather than allowing the divorce to become more personal than is necessary. Your health and your kids' health will thank you.

Naperville Family Law Attorneys

If you are contemplating a divorce, and have any questions or concerns about the process, your rights in the equitable distribution, and how this procedure will affect your children, please contact an experienced Naperville family law attorney today. One of our experienced legal professionals will provide insight and advice in starting divorce proceedings in the most civil and non-hostile way to protect your family and your children from adverse health effects associated with the separation.

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