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Courtney & Mills, LLC  Approaching Every Case with Strength, Education and Respect
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The Stages of Divorce


If you are headed for a divorce, or have recently experienced one, you may be unsure as to the impact of such a huge life change will have on you.  Some researchers compare the stages of divorce with the stages of grief, and it’s clear to see why.  Divorce is the end of life as you know it, and that’s a trauma that could throw anyone off their footing.

  • Stage 1: Denial: If you’ve just been informed that your spouse would like a divorce and you’re having a hard time accepting it, you are likely in the denial stage of the process.  This is your way of defending yourself against overwhelming emotions that may frighten you.
  • Stage 2: Anger: Once it sinks in that the divorce is for real, you may experience a rush of negative emotions.  That could include resentment toward a spouse who didn’t fully appreciate you, jealousy over the life that’s ahead for your spouse, and deep anger toward anyone who seems to be in the way of your happiness.
  • Stage 3: Bargaining: If you find yourself looking back through old photo albums and remembering the good times, you may feel inclined to try to recapture those moments.  You could be asking yourself where and why things went wrong, and what you could have done to avoid this uncomfortable space you’re in.  That could lead to you making promises to do better, begging, or otherwise trying to bargain with your spouse to give the relationship another shot.
  • Stage 4: Depression: When the reality finally lands, it can be devastating.  You may feel worthless, unable to get out of bed or to deal with the daily necessities of life.  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 5: Acceptance: Finally, finally, you can come to a place of peace. It seems like you’ve gotten a new spring in your step, and, even though life is new and a little scary, it’s the old you that’s coming to terms with it. Sometimes, in fact, you feel a little more free than you’ve felt in ages. Sure, there are still moments of doubt, of anger, of unsteadiness.  But that’s certainly not the majority of the time, and when those feelings do emerge, you deal with them and move forward.  Because that’s who you are:  a person who gets through the rough stuff and finds a better day.

We Can Help 

At Courtney & Mills, our experienced Springfield divorce attorneys know 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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