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The Stages of Divorce


If you recently experienced a divorce, or one is on the way, you may be anxious about the potential impact of such a huge life change.  Some researchers compare the stages of divorce with the stages of grief, and it’s clear to see why.  A divorce is the end of life as you know it, and that’s a trauma that could throw anyone off their game. It’s helpful to know that the stages of your experience are actually predictable to some extent:

  • Stage 1: Shock: You just can’t believe this is happening to you! It can’t be real!
  • Stage 2: Denial: You’re having a hard time accepting it, so you defend yourself against the overwhelming emotions that you fear could overwhelm you.
  • Stage 3: Anger/Blaming: As it sinks in that the divorce is your new reality, you may experience a rush of negative emotions, like resentment toward a spouse who never deserved you in the first place, and anger about the whole situation.
  • Stage 4: Bargaining: Distracting yourself from your pain becomes job one, and one way to do that is by making promises to do better, to fix yourself, to make things good enough to keep your spouse at home with you.
  • Stage 5: Depression: When efforts to reconcile are ineffective it can be devastating.  It can make you feel worthless, powerless, and unable to do anything to get control again. You’ve reached the depression stage, where you come face to face with the fact that the divorce is real and your life will be unrecognizable for a while.  Often the longest stage, this is the time you most need a trusted family member, friend, clergyperson, or counselor to help you along.
  • Stage 6: Acceptance: At long last you find peace. You’re sleeping better, and your outlook on life is a little brighter.  You’re going to survive this divorce!
  • Stage 7: Rebuilding: You see a future—maybe not laid out in stone, but there’s something out there for you. You’re energized, looking forward to what lies ahead.

Do these stages occur in chronological order? Not necessarily.  Once you go through one, can you put it behind you? Maybe, maybe not.  We all experience life differently.  Some move through troubles quickly, while others find they wallow a bit.  The point is, get through it you will!

We Can Help 

At WiseLieberman, our experienced Boca Raton divorce attorneys understand that what you’re going through is tough. That’s why we always work to ensure the best possible outcomes for you. To discuss your situation, schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.

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