No matter how it happens, divorce is painful, whether it comes like a bolt of lightning or is part of a couple’s cooperative and conscious decision. For anyone going through divorce, however, it can feel like the sky is falling and you are the only one who sees it.
As it turns out, you are in good company. Even though split-ups overall have been trending downward, divorce in New York and New Jersey is still quite common. Understanding how this life event may affect you and your loved ones is key to being prepared for life after it is all over.
The causes and stages of divorce
According to experts, most divorces occur about four years into the marriage, with many occurring after five and eight years. During this time, the couple learn to live together and make huge financial decisions such as buying a home, starting a family and choosing important career paths. One study cited the four top reasons for divorce as:
- Commitment issues
- Conflict in the relationship
- Domestic violence or substance abuse
Similar to the five stages of grief, the stages of divorce also follow a path:
- Denial that the breakup is happening.
- Anger that turns into blame once the emotions come out.
- Bargaining as a means of backtracking this new reality.
- Depression as the new reality sinks in.
- Acceptance once the individual makes peace with what is happening.
Developing coping skills
The psychological impact of divorce is tremendous, and it is no surprise that it ranks as one of the top five most stressful life events in people’s lives. If there are children involved, this will add another dimension to the situation, as parents will need to find a custody or coparenting arrangement that is best for the children.
Just as having a good support system from family and friends is invaluable, so is setting clear boundaries about what to share and what to keep to yourself. If the spouses are willing to try, they can go into divorce with positive intentions for focusing on the well-being of all affected. Conscious uncoupling requires mutual respect and self-awareness and can provide a framework for a peaceful post-divorce transition.
For residents of Hackensack and the Bronx, it can also help to have informed legal advocacy in your corner when navigating property division, custody and support issues as part of the divorce settlement.