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What Are the 6 Stages of a Long Island Divorce?

by | Sep 22, 2020 | divorce

Family researcher Paul Bohannon introduced the concept of the 6 stages of divorce: emotional, legal, economic, co-parenting, community, and psychological divorce. Understanding these stages can help you better navigate the process of dissolving your marriage and ideally resolve your Long Island divorce faster and with less expense. Here’s a quick overview of each stage of divorce and how to get the legal help you need when considering a divorce or going through one.

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#1. The Emotional Divorce

The emotional divorce usually occurs first, before any of the other stages. This is when one or both parties begin to have a deterioration in emotional intimacy and communication. Thoughts and feelings may begin to change, and many couples describe this as “falling out of love.” It’s often the first indicator that a couple’s marriage is in trouble, but may not be complete until long after the rest of the divorce is final.

#2. The Legal Divorce

The legal divorce refers to the divorce-on-paper and is finalized when both spouses reach an agreement on all matters regarding the divorce or when a judge makes a decision for the couple in cases of a contested divorce. It includes a few other stages of divorce, such as the economic divorce and the co-parenting divorce. Both parties are required to follow the court-ordered terms of a legal divorce once they have been established.

#3. The Economic Divorce

The economic divorce describes the process of dividing money, assets, and even debts between spouses. This can include closing joint checking accounts and opening individual ones, transferring ownership of property, and any other economic issue that arises during a divorce on Long Island. The economic divorce may take place before or during the legal divorce depending on whether the marriage is ending amicably and the divorce is uncontested, or if the divorce becomes litigious.

#4. The Co-Parenting Divorce

If the couple shares a child together, there will be another stage of divorce where as parents, the couple makes decisions regarding child custody and visitation. Ideally, the child or children are able to maintain a meaningful relationship with both parents following the separation, however, this may not be possible in some cases where doing so threatens the safety and wellbeing of a child. The co-parenting divorce is also a challenge for unmarried parents who are separating and can be particularly hard on children whose parents are unable to reach a compromise.

#5. The Community Divorce

Married couples often share friends and acquaintances within the community. An often overlooked stage of separation is the community divorce, or the process where two spouses disengage from a shared social life. Often, both parties will lose friends and family members, making this part of the divorce emotionally devastating for many spouses. Some spouses feel comfortable maintaining individual friendships with once-shared friends, while others prefer to cut ties with old social connections and start over.

#6. The Psychological Divorce

Along with an emotional divorce, the process of a psychological divorce must also occur. This can begin before the legal divorce, during it, or after. It occurs when each spouse begins to cope with the loss of the marriage and the future they had planned and begins to move toward existing autonomously and living independently. Sometimes, it takes an extended period of time for one or both spouses to cope psychologically with the end of the marriage and this stage remains uncomplete.

Considering Getting a Divorce on Long Island? Get Help from a Trusted New York Family Divorce Lawyer

Couples who are separating generally must go through all 6 stages of divorce before they feel that the separation is “complete” and feel ready to move forward with their new lives. It’s important to work with an experienced Long Island divorce lawyer who understands the various stages of ending a marital relationship and how to maintain the balance between protecting your legal rights and helping you find healing.

Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. is an experienced Long Island family law firm that has a trusted track record of providing aggressive and comprehensive legal representation to spouses on either side of the divorce. To schedule your consultation, call now at 631-923-1910. We’re available now to help you start the process of dissolving your marriage emotionally, physically, and legally.

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