- 18 Oct 2022
- 2 min read
Menopause in divorce
Many women feel unsupported when dealing with perimenopause and menopause, both in their personal and professional lives, and they are often left suffering in silence. On World Menopause Day, Trethowans are keen to raise awareness and to support our clients through this stage in their life.
Menopause can cause an array of symptoms not only in physical health but also to mental health. Many women describe anxiety, mood swings, brain fog, irritability, as well as headaches, hot flushes, itchy skin and irregular periods. Any or a mixture of these symptoms can start years before menopause is in full effect.
Dealing with the breakdown of a relationship is one of the most emotionally challenging times anyone will face, and to be encountering symptoms of menopause at the same time can feel overwhelming. One of the key considerations upon divorce or separation, is what your financial settlement will look like. The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 sets out the relevant factors that the Court must have consideration to, when considering what financial settlement would be appropriate. These factors include:
- The income and earning capacity of the parties
- Any physical or mental disability of either party
Many women find that their ability to work is impacted by the menopause, and as a direct consequence of that are moving to part time hours, not pushing for promotion, or even leaving their job roles altogether due to the chronic fatigue they are facing. Their suitability for a financial “clean break” could be questioned. It would be quite right, therefore, for the Court to give proper consideration to symptoms of menopause when considering the above factors, and Court documentation should be drafted carefully to highlight this.
At Trethowans we recognise the importance of being aware and sympathetic to any symptoms of menopause. We can sensitively support our clients by suggesting wellbeing and health screening from a client’s own clinician. We are aware of the importance of signposting clients to the vast support network that is available online, which can provide invaluable advice for anyone experiencing menopause symptoms. More practically we ensure that our offices and any conferences, client meetings and Court hearings take into account how to make our client more comfortable. This will in turn ensure our client can better deal with the matter they are facing.
Obtaining clear and supportive legal advice from the outset will help you make informed decisions in relation to the breakdown of your relationship.
Trethowans offer a free 30-minute initial consultation for family law matters, for support please call 0800 2800 421 or get in touch here.