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Describing the 6 stages of divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2023 | Divorce

Divorcing couples in California go through a variety of emotions. It’s normal to feel one way early in the divorce and completely different as things progress, and there are several stages that people often go through.


When your spouse reveals they want a divorce, you may feel shocked. Even if you don’t think your marriage has been great for a while, this is a normal emotional reaction. This is a fleeting feeling as it usually wears off fairly quickly.


Some people go into denial after their spouse has left the marital home. This is common because it’s hard to believe your situation. You might try to convince yourself that your spouse will realize how rash they have been and return.


When things don’t get better and the divorce proceeds, anger begins to set in. You may want to make your spouse feel the effects of your anger and think about doing something to get back at them; for example, you might think about preventing them from seeing your children ever again.


Bargaining occurs when you realize that things aren’t going to change and your anger has dissipated. You desperately want your spouse back and make promises to them that you’ll change. You’ll say or do anything to get them back at this stage.


The depression stage is when you’re at a loss and seem not to care anymore. You might tell your spouse to do whatever they want and even make statements you don’t mean. This stage can last a short time or longer time before you finally get through it.


Acceptance is often the last stage of divorce. By this point, you fully acknowledge that your marriage is over and are able to look toward a brighter future. You are healthier for this new outlook.

Divorce affects everyone differently. The stages don’t always happen in any specific order.