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Jupiter Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Family > The Seven Emotional Stages of Divorce

The Seven Emotional Stages of Divorce


We aren’t mental health professionals. But we’ve seen so many divorces over the years that we’re very familiar with the emotional fallout these individuals experience. The stages of divorce vary slightly, usually depending on what ended the marriage (a slow-fade divorce or an unexpected adultery or other sudden trauma), the presence of minor children, the number of prior divorces, if any, and the individual’s filing status (petitioner or respondent).

A good Jupiter family law attorney always looks for cost-effective and permanent solutions in areas like spousal support, property division, and child support. Quite simply, we plan our work, and then we work our plan. The sooner a divorce ends, the sooner both spouses can move on with their lives and minimize the emotional fallout of a Florida divorce.


Shock is usually the first stage of grief. And divorcing people grieve. They may or may not grieve the loss of the marriage. But they always grieve the loss of what might have been.

Denial is common in both the kinds of divorces mentioned above. Couples may drift apart but seldom think the marriage will end in divorce. Adultery, abuse, and abandonment (I’ve had enough I’m leaving) are the most common trauma divorces.


Divorcing couples have current and future financial and emotional fears. A Jupiter family law attorney cannot do much to assuage emotional fears, but an attorney can take care of financial fears.

Despite the recent law change, several forms of spousal support, including short and long-term support, are still available. The amount and duration of payments usually depends on the obligee’s financial need and the obligor’s ability to pay.


Some spouses place all the blame for a divorce on the other spouse, a third party, or an organization, like “You spend too much time at church.” In some cases, that’s appropriate. But in most cases, divorce is a two-way street. One spouse may be mostly at fault, but one spouse is rarely entirely at fault. An admission of partial responsibility leads to the next stage.


Patching things up or staying together for the good of the kids might or might not be the right thing to do. Family unity is good, but family unity at any cost usually isn’t good.

Usually, one of the first questions we ask during a divorce consultation is “How long have you been separated?” If the parties have been separated for more than about three months, they’re probably past the patching-things-up phase and ready to commit to divorce.


In many ways, guilt is the opposite of anger. Instead of laying all the blame on someone or something else, divorcing individuals lay all the blame on themselves. As was the case with anger, 100 percent self-blame is usually inaccurate as well. The sooner divorcing individuals accept that, the sooner they can move onto the next phase.

Extreme Grief

It’s always darkest just before the dawn. The grief phase is the hardest one. If a divorce settlement is mostly in place by the time this phase hits, it’s easier to deal with.


This final stage is important emotionally and legally. People who accept the end of a marriage and the accompanying divorce orders are less likely to violate those orders. That avoids the need for expensive modification and enforcement motions.

 Reach out to a Hard-Working Palm Beach County Lawyer

Divorce and related matters almost always involve financial and emotional issues. For a free consultation with an experienced Jupiter family law attorney, contact Caroline Olson, P.A.

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