What Are the Stages of Divorce?

A divorce often involves a psychological process as well as a legal process. Both are equally challenging. The emotional stages of divorce often include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It’s normal to grieve the loss of a romantic partner or spouse. Divorce can cause a roller coaster of emotions, making it a tricky process.

Ensure to consult a qualified mental health professional and divorce lawyer before filing for divorce. Counselors and therapists can help you cope with the emotional turmoil of divorce, while seasoned White Plains divorce lawyers can provide professional legal advice and protect your interests.

The divorce stages happen in no particular order, and they may last for a long time. Keep reading to learn what to expect.

Emotional Stages of Divorce

During the divorce, your feelings may fluctuate wildly. Below is an overview of the emotional stages of divorce.

Stage 1: Denial

This is the first stage of most divorces. Denial doesn’t necessarily mean that one refuses to accept the truth. But, being emotionally or mentally unable to accept reality might lead to denial.

Divorces often lead to having too much information that your brain must process at once. Attempting to avoid conflict is only natural. However, divorce leads to genuine, lasting issues.

Denial can lead to misunderstanding or anxiety. It can give you false hope that the ordeal is over, or you may experience shock since you didn’t see it coming.

Despite your current discontent, you might have to try to save your marriage. You might feel extreme sadness, get headaches, or be stressed out. It is essential to remember that the grieving process is unique to everyone.

Stage 2: Anger

Frustration develops when one feels mistreated through deception, isolation, miscommunication, or outright rejection. It usually happens when someone you trust forces you into an undesirable situation.

You can feel frustrated with yourself. It’s also possible to feel angry, frustrated, and anxious about the divorce proceedings.

You may experience anxiety, irritability, and frustration during the divorce. These may lead to adverse behavioral changes like excess alcohol consumption and decreased physical activity.

Although it can seem like you are getting punished, it is essential to remember that anger is a normal emotion that comes from passion.

Anger is one of the stages of divorce

Stage 3: Bargaining

The third step in a divorce is the bargaining phase.

This is also known as the “What if” stage. You may ask yourself, “what if I had done more?” and struggle to find meaningful answers that make sense of the current situation. Bargaining is an effort to clarify the situation, recap how you arrived here, and strike a new deal.

The failure to save a marriage can cause guilt for some people. Some parents can make a pact to stay together, despite the toxicity of their marriage, to protect their children. Other people bargain with themselves, partners, and even higher, supernatural entities.

Stage 4: Depression

Loss of a loved one, rejection, and isolation contribute to depression. Depression can affect people from all walks of life. You may begin to doubt everything and question your place in the world.

The thoughts of causing harm to your loved ones, especially your children, may leave you with feelings of guilt. You may feel exhausted, nauseous, and unable to sleep. Because of this, you may feel unable to do anything and completely hopeless.

Depression may also cause feelings of intense emptiness with paralyzing effects. You may act as if everything were fine, but you know that it isn’t. Unfortunately, some people seem unable to break free of their depression without professional help.

If you are experiencing signs of depression, consider talking to a licensed mental health professional for counseling.

Stage 5: Acceptance

The final step in the divorce process is acceptance. This gradual process allows you to recover and feel whole again.

After acceptance, you can come to terms with the divorce and get clarity or closure. It would be best to interact socially with your friends, and meeting new exciting people can help.

You’ll start feeling more upbeat and open to the idea of developing plans and investigating potential solutions. Make a fresh start and focus on your personal goals.

Do the Stages Happen Sequentially?

Not typically. Over time, people go through all five stages of divorce. But, during this challenging transition period, people usually jump in and out of the phases as they work toward acceptance and rebuilding their lives.

People who feel stuck at any point should seek professional treatment from a therapist or family mediator.

Do Spouses Move Through Each Phase Simultaneously?

Not usually. The spouse who files for divorce is often more willing to end the marriage than the spouse who receives the petition. Some people will only get a divorce once they absolutely have to.

In most cases, the spouse who brings up the subject of divorce has thought about it quietly for some time and gone through most of the initial emotional stages of divorce before bringing up the matter openly with the other spouse.

This can happen through a relatively calm contemplative phase when both parties are reasonably quiet, and the reacting spouse is less likely to detect anything unusual. However, contemplation is a common catalyst for the first steps toward divorce.

Why You Need a Divorce Lawyer

Family disputes can be hard to resolve. Many people make the mistake of handling these matters themselves and end up regretting their decisions.

If you are dealing with a family matter involving divorce or child custody, getting professional representation from experienced divorce lawyers helps protect your rights. They will guide the dynamics of your case and explain things to you as they arise.

Call a New York Divorce Lawyer Today!

Are you planning a divorce? Then you should contact the seasoned New York family and divorce lawyers at Douglas Family Law Group for essential insights to help your family through divorce.

Call us today at 914-303-8408 to schedule a confidential consultation.

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