If I get therapy is the Court going to hold it against me?

January 3, 2022

Divorce can feel like an emotional earthquake, shaking the foundation of your life. It’s normal to experience a whirlwind of emotions, including depression, anxiety, and grief. If you’re struggling to cope, you’re not alone.

Depression: More Than Just Feeling Sad

Depression during divorce goes beyond sadness and tears. It can manifest as lack of energy, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, and a sense of hopelessness. If these feelings persist, it’s crucial to seek professional help.

Anxiety: A Racing Mind and Restless Heart

Anxiety is another common companion to divorce. It can cause fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and even panic attacks. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, talking to a doctor or therapist can help you manage them and find relief.

Grief: A Process, Not a Problem

Grieving the end of your marriage is natural. Anger, emptiness, and a yearning for what was lost are all part of the process. While it’s tempting to try to “win back” your ex, focusing on healing and moving forward is often a more productive path.

Why Self-Care Matters, Especially for Parents

If you have children, neglecting your mental health sets a harmful example. It teaches them that your feelings don’t matter and that struggling is something to hide. By prioritizing your well-being, you’re showing your children that it’s okay to ask for help and take care of yourself. Getting care for emotional health is no different than getting a cast for a broken bone. If you broke your arm, you would go to the ER. Your brain is no different than a bone — sometimes you need some medical treatment for it too.

The Confidentiality of Therapy

Therapy offers a safe, confidential space to process your emotions and develop coping skills. Remember, your conversations with a therapist are generally protected, and there are strict procedures in place to prevent their disclosure in court. SO no, your therapy is not going to be an issue. And no, the judge is not going to “hold it against you” — because it would be a really rare case for a judge to even learn what was going on in your therapeutic sessions.

When Mental Health Becomes a Legal Issue

In most Illinois divorce cases, mental health isn’t a deciding factor in property division or other legal matters. However, if your mental health significantly impacts your ability to care for your children, it could become relevant in a parenting time determination. The reason it becomes an issue is it shows the Court that either you do not have the resources to get help; you do not believe in therapy; or, that you simply do not care. All of those are red flags to a Judge. They want to make sure that children are living with a parent who is emotionally well.

Prioritize Your Well-Being

If you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or grief, don’t let your divorce get in the way of getting help. Seeking support from a therapist or doctor is a brave and empowering step toward healing and creating a better future for yourself and your family. Some places to start are with your insurance’s employee assistance program and psychologytoday, which has therapist listings.

Focusing on Your Legal Needs

While I’m not a mental health professional, I’m here to help you navigate the legal aspects of your divorce. My goal is to facilitate amicable, out-of-court resolutions that allow you to move forward with confidence. If you are ready to get divorced, reach out to my office.


Disclaimer: The information in this blog post is not intended as a substitute for professional legal or medical advice. Please consult with an attorney or mental health professional to discuss your specific situation and options.