California couples who are preparing for divorce may already be aware that the process can have an impact on their finances moving forward. What they may not know, however, is that going through a divorce may actually be bad for their health. According to a study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, those who get a divorce are more likely to pick up smoking or reduce their amount of physical activity.

A sample of approximately 5,700 individuals was taken from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging. The individuals were adults who were at least 50 years old and lived in the UK. Approximately 900 of these individuals had gotten a divorce and never remarried or were separated. It was found that those who were divorced or separated and did not remarry had a 46 percent greater risk of dying through the course of the study than their married counterparts.

The study essentially found that divorced or separated participants were generally not as satisfied with their lives as their married counterparts were. This unhappiness can result in a spiral as unhappy people tend to be less physically active and may be more likely to pick up unhealthy habits.

While getting a divorce can certainly have a negative impact on a person’s happiness, there are many reasons that getting a divorce may be a good decision for some. For example, those who are in a toxic or abusive marriage may be happier once they are out. Couples who can no longer work together may also feel better on their own. Whatever the reason, a family law attorney may guide a person through the entire divorce process. An attorney may also discuss the implications of keeping marital property, such as the family home, vehicles and certain financial assets.