17th May 2023

Divorce: Dealing with Anxiety

By Vanessa Sampaio

How to Deal with Anxiety During Divorce


It is Mental Health Awareness Week (15th-21st May 2023) and the theme this year is anxiety. In this blog, FLiP Associate Vanessa Sampaio discusses how to manage feelings of anxiety during a divorce or separation. 

Every stage of a separation or divorce can be anxiety-inducing. Anxiety is often driven by fear, and when a couple are separating or divorcing there are a number of fears to grapple with:

  • For some, a fear of losing their spouse who was once a significant part of their life and a fear of being lonely;
  • A fear of losing financial security;
  • A fear of losing wider social and family support networks;
  • A fear of how the divorce may impact on their children and their emotional well-being, both in the short term and the long term;
  • A fear of losing control over matters that will impact their lives;
  • A general fear of the unknown, of having to start over and what the future will look like.

Along the way there may be common triggers which exacerbate anxiety during a divorce or separation. It may be those ‘first’ occasions for holidays, birthday dates and other traditions and routines that used to be undertaken as a family that now have to be done differently. Or, it could be the former spouse re-partnering and entering into a new relationship and managing the integration of children with that new set of circumstances.

Social media can make matters worse by giving a glimpse into the former spouse’s life in real time, in a way that was not possible before social media existed. That may only assist to keep some individuals ‘stuck’ in an emotional space of being unable to successfully move on from the ending of their relationship, which would only perpetuate the cycle of anxiety.

In those moments when anxiety creeps in, it can be extremely overwhelming and difficult to manage day to day. It has its physical manifestations as well as an effect on mood. It may be all too easy at times to try and push past it and carry on, but it is helpful sometimes to take time out and recognise what you are feeling. Self-care is to be promoted and indulged in as well as an appreciation that you are probably doing your best and will be unable to control all the factors that come your way. The process of divorce although seemingly a never-ending storm will eventually pass.

As specialists in supporting families through divorce and separation, FLiP operate in a manner intended to limit tensions between parties and provide an environment for an amicable relationship to continue past the separation and into the future. We are conscious of the language used in our correspondence and take the most appropriate course of action that is best suited to the family as a whole. We are flexible in the processes that we offer. For example we have extensive mediation services and offer collaborative options for dealing with disputes. We also encourage processes that are swifter than litigation through court and give the parties greater autonomy, such as private Financial Dispute Resolution hearings and arbitration.

Unique to FLiP, we also have a team of in-house therapists who understand the emotional impact of the divorce and separation process and who can support you along the way in the best way possible.

Vanessa Sampaio advises on all aspects of family law including the division of finances on the breakdown of marriage/civil partnerships, and the preparation of pre and post nuptial agreements. Vanessa understands the emotional and practical challenges involved when family relationships break down and takes an empathetic and sensitive approach with all her clients.

To discuss how we can assist you with your family law matters, please contact us at E: hello@flip.co.uk or T: 020 7420 5000.