What Are the Five Stages of Divorce?

March 22, 2022

What Are the Five Stages of Divorce?

When two people make the decision to get married, they are committing to spend the rest of their lives together. This is a vow that is not taken lightly and should be entered into with a great deal of thought and consideration. However, even the couples with the best intentions find their relationship heading for divorce. While many couples stay together to honor their original commitment despite feeling unhappy, others find the best decision is for the overall health, safety, and happiness of everyone involved to go their separate ways.

When a couple decides to get a divorce, they go through five distinct stages. These stages are often difficult and emotional, but they must each be navigated to reach a successful resolution. By understanding the different stages of divorce, you can be better prepared to deal with them if you ever find yourself going through this process.

Stage 1: Denial

The first stage of divorce is usually denial. This is when one or both partners first realize that there are serious problems in the marriage. At this stage, couples often try to pretend that everything is okay and that the problems are temporary. They may also try to hide the problems from friends and family members.

Stage 2: Anger

The second stage of divorce is anger. This is when the reality of the situation starts to set in, and couples begin to blame each other for the problems in the marriage. This stage can be very destructive, as couples may say and do things that they later regret. The anger can stem from feelings of betrayal, frustration, or even just a general sense of disappointment that the marriage did not turn out the way they had hoped.

Stage 3: Bargaining

The third stage of divorce is bargaining. This is when couples start to negotiate with each other in an attempt to save the marriage or question what could have been done differently. Couples may also start to consider what life would be like if they got divorced. This stage can be difficult, as it requires couples to face the possibility of life without each other.

Stage 4: Depression

The fourth stage of divorce is depression. This is when couples come to terms with the fact that their marriage is ending. This stage can be very difficult, as a sense of grief and loss can accompany it. Couples may also feel a sense of relief at this stage, as they no longer have to deal with the problems in their marriage. However, that relief can also be met with feelings of sadness and loneliness as they adjust to the thought of being single again.

Stage 5: Acceptance

The fifth and final stage of divorce is acceptance. This is when couples have come to terms with the fact that their marriage is over, and they are moving on with their lives. Couples may still feel sad and lonely at this stage, but they have typically made peace with the decision to divorce. They may also start to see the positives of being single and begin to focus on their own happiness.


Q: How do you know if you should get a divorce?

A: Only you and your spouse can decide if getting a divorce is the right decision for your situation. However, some signs may indicate that a divorce is the best option. These signs include infidelity, abuse, addiction, or a general feeling of unhappiness.

Q: What is the most difficult stage of divorce?

A: The most difficult stage of divorce can vary from person to person. However, many people find the depression stage to be the most difficult. This is when couples come to terms with the fact that their marriage is ending, and they have to start adjusting to a new life.

Q: How long does a divorce take from start to finish?

A: The length of a divorce can vary depending on the couple's individual situation. However, the average divorce can take anywhere from 12 months to 36 months to complete. The only true way to know how long your divorce will take is to speak with an attorney who can take a look at your specific case and make an estimate.

Q: How much does a divorce cost?

A: The cost of a divorce is determined by the individuals' circumstances. Factors that influence the cost of divorce include the couple's assets, whether there are children involved, and the amount of conflict between the spouses. The end result will also be affected by whether the couple decides to use mediation or go to court. An attorney can give a more accurate estimate during an initial consultation.

Q: Is there such thing as an amicable divorce?

A: An amicable divorce is one in which the couple can agree on all terms of their divorce without going to court. This includes considerations such as child custody, property division, and alimony. An amicable divorce is typically less expensive and quicker than a divorce that goes to court.

Q: What are the benefits of getting divorced?

A: The benefits of getting a divorce depend on the couple's individual situation. However, some benefits of divorce include starting fresh, focusing on self-improvement, and no longer being in an unhappy marriage. Couples should discuss the benefits and drawbacks of divorce before making a decision.

Contact Your North Star: Johnson Law Group

If you are considering a divorce, it is important to contact an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the process. The Johnson Law Group has helped countless individuals through the divorce process, and we can help you too. Contact us today to consult with one of our skilled divorce lawyers. We will take the time to listen to your situation and help you make the best decisions for your future. As you advance through the stages of divorce, we will be there with you every step of the way to take care of the legal details so that you can focus on moving forward with your life.

Written by Family Law Attorney Myles S. Johnson
Divorce doesn’t have to be dramatic. For the litigants, losing your spouse is significant enough. But you can choose the way it affects your daily life. The only guarantee I can give is that the feeling that you have right now will not be the feeling you end with. This is a season in your life, and it must be approached that way.
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