The 6 stages of Divorce

Published on 13 March 2023 at 13:57

The 6 Stages of Divorce 

 Divorce is a complex and emotionally charged experience that can leave individuals feeling lost, confused, and overwhelmed. If you are currently going through a divorce or considering one, it's important to understand that the process involves several stages that can impact your emotional and mental health. As a counseling professional, I believe that knowledge and understanding of the divorce cycle can help individuals navigate through this difficult experience with greater ease and clarity.

The six stages of the divorce cycle are a well-known model used in counseling and therapy to help individuals understand the emotional journey of divorce. These stages can help you anticipate and prepare for the different emotional states you may experience during and after the divorce process. Here is a breakdown of each stage:

1. Pre-contemplation: At this stage, you may not be aware of or acknowledge the problems in your marriage. You may be in denial or avoid confronting the issues. Counseling can help you become aware of the issues and consider the possibility of divorce.

2. Contemplation: In this stage, you begin to consider the possibility of divorce and weigh the pros and cons of ending your marriage. You may feel ambivalent, anxious, or fearful about making a decision. Counseling can help you explore your feelings and clarify your thoughts about divorce.

3. Preparation: At this stage, you begin to take concrete steps toward divorce. You may consult with attorneys or financial planners and start to disentangle your life from your spouse. Counseling can help you cope with the practical and emotional challenges of this stage.

4. Action: In this stage, you file for divorce and begin the legal process. You may feel a sense of relief or liberation, but also sadness, anger, or grief. Counseling can help you cope with the emotional roller coaster of divorce and adjust to the changes in your life.

5. Maintenance: At this stage, you are living your new life as a divorced individual. You may be adjusting to new routines, roles, and relationships. You may also experience ongoing emotional challenges, such as co-parenting conflicts or loneliness. Counseling can help you navigate the challenges of this stage and find support and coping strategies.

6. Integration: In this final stage, you have integrated your divorce experience into your life and identity. You may have developed a new sense of self and purpose. You may also feel a sense of closure or acceptance about your divorce. Counseling can help you reflect on your journey and celebrate your growth and resilience.

Divorce can be a painful and stressful experience, but it can also be an opportunity for growth and transformation. As a counseling professional, I encourage individuals going through divorce to seek support and guidance from a licensed counselor or therapist who can help them navigate the stages of the divorce cycle and cope with the emotional challenges of divorce. Remember that healing takes time and effort, but it is possible with the right support and mindset.


Samantha Allison- Evans, M.A., LPC