Grief During Divorce – Understanding How it Impact the Divorce Process

Grief During Divorce – Understanding How it Impact the Divorce Process

Divorce is a challenging and emotionally charged experience. Even in exceptionally amicable situations, it is important to acknowledge the wide range of emotions that come with divorce, including grief. Even when it is your choice to divorce or circumstances are so contentious you cannot wait for your divorce to be complete, grief is an incredibly normal emotion to experience. Grief during divorce doesn’t always show up at the same time for every person and experiencing it can be confusing and upsetting. When this is the case, grief may become so consuming that it influences decision-making, which is not optimal during a divorce. Because of this, it is best to work with an experienced divorce mediator that understands the divorce process and can help guide you through complex emotions.

No matter how hard you try, it is impossible to ignore the impact of grief on the divorce process. Grief is not a linear process and feelings of grief may come and go. Additionally, grief manifests in different ways for different people. Some may feel anger or sadness, while others may try to ignore their emotions through alcohol, drugs, or work. But, regardless of where you are in the grieving process, an experienced divorce mediator will help divorcing couples understand and cope with their emotions.

Many people may want to ignore their grief until it goes away but acknowledging and normalizing grief can have several benefits. It can help lessen the intensity of emotions and move both spouses toward acceptance. This can be particularly beneficial for children who may have fewer coping skills than adults. As parents work through their grief, children are likely to progress more readily through their own grief.

It is common for spouses to not even realize they are experiencing grief or that it is impacting the divorce process. Mediators who reveal grief can help build trust with divorcing couples. By showing a willingness to manage emotional outbursts, mediators can help both spouses feel more comfortable and confident in the mediation process. It’s important to remember that grief is a natural and necessary part of the divorce process and should be addressed with care and compassion by your divorce mediator.


About Oliver Ross

Oliver Ross, JD*, PhD founded Out-of-Court Solutions Inc. in 1995 and since then has mediated over 3,000 divorce and family matters. He is a select member of the Maricopa Superior Court Family Mediation roster