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What Are the Five Stages of Divorce?

Divorce is typically one of the most challenging experiences of a person’s life. No matter the grounds for the divorce, it is an emotionally turbulent time for everyone involved, and it can be difficult to process your emotions while undergoing legal proceedings to have the end of your marriage finalized and signed into law. The divorce process, and coping with it, is usually a five-step process. While navigating the emotional side of divorce is entirely on your shoulders, Oceanside divorce attorneys are the best available resource if you need guidance for the legal side of divorce.

So what are the five stages of divorce? They are the same as the five stages of grief when it comes to an emotional perspective:

  • Denial. At this stage, it can be impossible for some people to imagine accepting the possibility of divorce. Many divorce cases start with one spouse blindsiding the other with a divorce petition seemingly out of nowhere, and many people struggle with the denial this initial shock can cause. Others may deny that their marriages need to end, thus prolonging an already difficult process.
  • Anger. Once denial has passed, it is natural for people in this position to feel angry. They may feel betrayed or hurt once they fully understand the reasoning for their spouse’s decision to file. Others may experience this stage when they begin to recognize that their marriage has completely broken down.
  • Sadness. This stage commonly sets in once the denial and anger have passed, and the individual begins coming to terms with the reality of the situation. This is the point where many divorcing spouses begin to feel despair as they remember the good aspects of their marriages.
  • Bargaining. On the emotional side of divorce, the bargaining phase may entail one spouse’s last-ditch efforts at reconciliation. This may also pertain to the stage at which the divorcing couple begins to negotiate the terms of their divorce.
  • Acceptance. The final stage is a true and honest recognition of the situation for what it really is. This is the most difficult part, but it is also transformative in positive and unpredictable ways for many people who experience it.

These five stages can unfold in unique ways in any given divorce case. Oceanside divorce attorneys are fantastic resources for anyone facing a divorce who feels unsure about their legal options or what to expect from their forthcoming legal proceedings.

Is Lack of Intimacy Grounds for Divorce?

In most marriages, spouses are sexually exclusive with one another, and intimacy is a normal and expected part of marriage. While a lack of intimacy can certainly pose problems in any marriage and even signify problems outside of the marriage, lack of intimacy in and of itself does not constitute valid grounds for divorce. However, it is possible to file for divorce with cause on the grounds of incurable impotence that makes intimacy impossible.

It is not necessary to identify grounds for divorce in any California divorce case. State law allows anyone to file for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences if the marriage has broken down beyond repair. However, citing specific grounds for divorce, such as lack of intimacy due to infidelity or incurable impotence, could cause divorce proceedings to lean in one spouse’s favor over the other.

What Are My Rights When I Divorce?

California state law upholds a strict community property statute that requires divorcing spouses to divide all marital property as evenly as possible in divorce, regardless of who filed for divorce or the grounds on which their divorce petition was filed. If you file for divorce or if your spouse has served you with divorce papers, at a minimum, you can expect the right to receive half of the marital property you and your spouse accumulated during your marriage. You also have the right to negotiate or litigate care and custody of your children and divide responsibility for shared debts with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

How Long Does It Take to Get Over a Divorce?

Getting over a divorce will be much easier for some than others. In some cases, divorce can feel like a fresh start after enduring a destructive marriage. For others, it can feel like the end of the world and everything they have ever known. The five stages of divorce will be different for everyone. If you knew your marriage needed to end and have finally obtained your divorce decree, it may not take you very long to emotionally “get over” your divorce. It will take time for you to mentally, socially, and financially adjust to your new single life.

The length of time required to get over a divorce is also often influenced by the legal proceedings involved in a divorce case. The more complex a divorce case is, the longer it will take to resolve through the court system, thus prolonged the time it will take for the spouses to start moving on with their respective lives.

How Do I Navigate My Relationship After Divorce?

When you divorce your spouse, this is not exactly to say you will never see or hear from them again. If you have children together, this will almost certainly not be the case as you both have parental responsibilities that do not end in divorce. Navigating your relationship with your ex after divorce is ultimately an entirely personal experience. There is no guide or right way to handle this type of situation. The ease or difficulty with which you handle your relationship with your ex entirely depends on the circumstances of your divorce and the personal issues between the two of you.

You should expect some level of communication with your ex after divorce. The two of you may need to communicate about child care and custody, support agreements, or other aspects of your divorce. Eventually, there may not be any further reason to speak with one another, or you could even become friends after the experience. Navigating the emotional spectrum that one can experience during divorce is a personal journey. Oceanside divorce attorneys can provide the legal clarity and guidance a divorcing spouse needs in this situation.

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While the Covid-19 Shelter-In-Place Executive Orders is in place my office is fully functioning; thus I am available to prepare ex parte documents, Temporary Restraining Orders, and prepare filing to be filed when the Court opens. Please contact my office at 760-643-4114 to discuss further.