The 4 Stages of Divorce

The 4 Stages of Divorce

January 13, 2021

Divorce is more than just the official end of a relationship. There are actually four different “divorces” that occur; the emotional, social, financial, and the legal divorce. They all work together- positively or negatively. When considering divorce, it is important to understand each component so you can mitigate unwanted outcomes and preserve the relationship- highly important when children are involved.

The emotional divorce: This is the first stage of the uncoupling process and occurs when the decision to separate has been made. It ends when each person accepts that the relationship is over. It can be challenging to accept that the decision has been made. However uncomfortable it is, awareness of where you and your partner are in the cycle is essential for a successful mediation.  Unruly emotions have a tendency to interfere with the other stages of divorce and can prevent the possibility of a smooth mediation.

The social divorce: As word spreads that your marriage has come to a close, the relationships in your life are re-adjusted. Interactions with the outside world were previously done as a family. After the decision to separate has been made, others have to recalibrate to your new status. This can be very challenging for many as friends and family may get involved in your divorce. They may offer unwanted advice that actually detracts from your divorce goals and creates emotional distress. It is also possible that they take sides and the relationship is lost. Others may offer their support. Whatever their reaction is, being mindful of the impact it is key to keeping your divorce on track.

The financial divorce: Divorce is the biggest financial transaction that most people will face. Dividing up marital property is fairly straightforward but can be marred by turbulent emotions. The income that was used to support a single household will now to support two. Working with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst is essential for understanding the financial uncoupling and preventing emotions from running away. A divorce that is run by uncontrolled emotions will drain precious resources that should be used for the next chapter.

The legal divorce: In this stage, paperwork is filed, and documents are drafted. With cooperation from both spouses in an uncontested case, legal aspect of divorce can be straightforward and cost effective. If the divorce is contested (there are disagreements about the uncoupling), it becomes a battle. A very expensive and lengthy battle that takes resources away from the next chapter. By waging war on each other, children and extended family members become casualties. It is not ideal but in some cases, it is the only way to accomplish the divorce.

By working with competent divorce experts, not only do you save money but all aspects of the divorce are considered. Mediation and Collaborative divorce preserve the family relationships and allows children to remain children.

If you would like to replace fear with facts, we are here to answer your questions with a free 30 minute consultation. Contact or call 402.430.3092 today!

Please note: This is general knowledge and is not tax/ legal/ or financial advice. Work with your professional team to find out what is best for you.