Five Stages of Grief in Divorce

MLF Team

Divorce is not a situation people are usually emotionally prepared for. After all, no one gets married to get divorced. Nevertheless, divorce is something that happens whether we are ready for it or not. In fact, it is often stated that nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce. That does not make it any easier, of course. According to the American Institute of Stress, divorce is the second most stressful event in a person’s life, following the death of a loved one.

During the process of divorce, a family may find it difficult to cope with this drastic change. The “Five Stages of Grief” are probably something you have heard of, but perhaps never guessed you would experience in your own life. These five stages can be applied to the roller coaster of emotions you might feel throughout a divorce.


You might be in disbelief the moment you realize that your marriage is ending. You might think that it is possible divorce may not happen at all, but remaining in denial will only ensure that an already tough experience will take longer, and exact a draining emotional cost.


This is usually the point when both parties call their divorce attorneys, usually out of a desire to win. Anger is not a logical emotion, especially in a heated situation like this, but it is necessary for the process of healing.


After the wave of anger fades, you might hit the bargaining phase, where you will do anything and possibly sacrifice anything in order to end the pain. It is important to remember that your happiness is not a bargaining chip and, while certain actions may speed the process, it should not be at the cost of a brighter future.


The bargaining stage passes and the depression takes its place. Even if you initiated the divorce, it is quite normal to feel depressed. You are witnessing the end of a cherished partnership that you once hoped would last. You do not have to go through this stage on your own though. Seek help, whether it be a close friend or a counselor.


Just because you made it to the final stage of grief and accepted your new reality does not mean your grief will immediately go away. In fact, you may even find yourself revisiting some of the previous stages. Grief is not a linear emotion, but when you reach acceptance, it means you recognize that divorce is your new normal, and that now you can begin to reshape your life and find happiness again.

The Millard Law Firm understands that the divorce process is difficult, and often long and complex, but our Alpharetta divorce attorneys have years of experience in helping clients start a fresh, new chapter in life. Contact us for a free initial consultation at 678-319-9500.