There is no question that the decision to end your marriage and process of doing so creates stress. In addition, there can be discord after a divorce relating to parenting decisions and support issues which can add to the normal stresses of life. You may not be prepared or equipped to cope with these anxieties on your own. You may weigh the pros and cons of seeking counseling or therapy as a way to manage this added stress.
At the outset, courts look favorably on parents and spouses who make their mental health a priority. The analogy of putting on your own oxygen mask before caring for those around you applies in the divorce process. Seeing a therapist can help you gain a more rational perspective, enable you to better communicate with your spouse, teach you how to help your children through this tough time, process negative emotions, and gain effective coping skills.
But can you take advantage of therapy during and after the divorce process without it being used against you? The good news is that mental health and counseling records are considered confidential, and the details of your discussions with your therapist are privileged. Your spouse would not be able to obtain your records, and your therapist could not be compelled to testify or offer an opinion against you, outside of extreme circumstances.
The decision whether or not to engage in therapy is very individualized and dependent on the facts of your case. If you are considering seeking professional help for your mental health, contact the experienced and compassionate lawyers in our Family Law Group.