If you are in the process of separating, I know you have that friend. That already divorced friend – the one that is telling you it gets worse before it gets better.  The one that says it’s a process.

Your friend is right.  Don’t discount what they’re saying.  There is lots of literature on the four emotional stages in your separation/divorce journey.  These are described as:

  1. Shock
  2. Crumbling
  3. Acceptance and
  4. Relief

While they are listed here as stages 1-4, people don’t necessarily experience them in that order and they may think they are progressing to the next stage  only to be triggered by an experience and find themselves back in an earlier emotional stage.

It is important to understand that when you are in shock, experiencing mood swings, having difficulty sleeping, blaming your spouse, caught up in anger, feeling guilt, fear and shame, the feelings you are experiencing are completely normal.  However, it is not the time to negotiate the terms of your separation or divorce.

While it is important at the outset to seek advice and learn what your rights are, if you have the aforementioned emotions, you are not really ready to negotiate the terms of your separation agreement or divorce.  Start that process when you can commence envisioning your future, and are able to consider the impact of decisions on all parties, children included.  In the meantime, you are welcome to contact our office to find out what your rights are.


Written by Anna Preston, a lawyer at Galbraith Family Law. Here is a link to Anna’s profile. To book a consultation with Anna, please go our website.