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Stages of Divorce

A divorce is one of the most emotional events a person will go through, second only to the death of a loved one. In fact, both situations have grief involved. Ending a marriage is not done lightly. It is a major decision that has long-term repercussions, especially if there are children involved and it was a long-term marriage. 

Deciding to divorce is a huge life transition, especially if you haven’t been single for decades. You may have never lived on your own. This can seem like an impossible task at 40, 50, or 60 years old or beyond.  

When it comes to divorce, everyone moves at their own pace. They have different personalities, so their experiences will be different. Some people may be relieved and ready to move on. Others may be in shock over the whole situation and having trouble moving on.

When dealing with a divorce, there are various stages of emotions involved. Here are some of the stages you may go through after a divorce


Even if you and your spouse have been discussing divorce a lot lately, it may not seem real until one of you leaves the marital home or sees a lawyer. The person who leaves may be feeling a huge sigh of relief. For the person left behind, the reality of divorce becomes a shock.

Three-Week Blur

Once the initial shock has dissipated, the next stage is essentially a blur. Things may be happening quickly for the person who left. They may be moving into a new place, redecorating, making new friends, all that good stuff. They’re adjusting to a new life and taking advantage of new opportunities. 

The person left behind, on the other hand, may be struggling to adapt. They’re still a little shocked and everyday life becomes a blur. Energy levels are low. They have difficulty focusing, which may be affecting their work life. They may feel angry and avoid friends and family because they don’t know what to say. They’re obsessing about the past and constantly thinking about what they could have done better.

Three Months In

After three months, there still may be some residual shock and anger, but for the most part, everyone is functioning better. The person who was left behind is in more control of their life, but now they may be worrying about legal matters. With more free time, people tend to throw themselves into their work or start dating.

Six Months to One Year Later

Things may be better to some degree. In some cases, it may be worse. There may be increased legal action at this time, which can be frustrating. Friends may be taking sides in the divorce. If you are dating and have children, there may be some anger and awkwardness from your children. You and the children may be in therapy. You may have to move or change jobs. You may be relying a lot on your friends and family during this time. 

One Year Out

Things tend to get better around the one-year mark. The divorce may be finalized. If not, the children may be looking for a reconciliation. Overall, everyone is adjusting well. Ideally, you and your ex are able to co-parent well. In some cases though, there are battles between the parents and children. At this point, some people are still struggling.

Two Years Later

Two years after the divorce, things should be turning a corner. You should feel like you are starting a new chapter in your life. Both parties should be moving on, making new friends and starting new romantic relationships. Many people are relieved and are enjoying their new lives, wishing they would have pulled the plug on their marriage sooner. Then there are those who are still dwelling on the past. They may have regrets and wish they would have worked harder on their marriage. If you’re still struggling, counseling can help you move on and help you realize that this, too, shall pass. 

Contact Us Today

Going from married to single is a huge transition. Just like any other major life event, people move through stages. They don’t suddenly feel better overnight. 
The Columbus divorce attorneys at Lawrence Law Office can handle your divorce details. Count on our experienced and knowledgeable team to resolve the issues of your divorce as quickly and smoothly as possible. Fill out the online form or call 614-228-3664 to schedule a consultation.

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