How to Handle the Impact of Grief During a Divorce


Grief is endemic to divorce. It is difficult to end a marriage, and the process often uncovers a variety of emotions. Whether clients are dealing with anger, frustration, sadness, or confusion, these emotions can negatively affect the outcome of the divorce. For this reason, it is important for mediators and attorneys to recognize grief and make an effort to minimize the consequences that result from it during divorce mediation.

Decision Making

One of the major consequences of grief is the inability to make the right decisions. Too often, the parties let their emotions influence their feelings instead of thinking rationally. In these circumstances, the mediator can be particularly helpful. They can guide their clients to make the right decisions by communicating effectively and acting with compassion.

Establish Rules

Grief can negatively affect the divorce negotiation process because the parties do not always behave properly. It is common for couples to fight, yell, and lose their temper during the mediation process. To avoid extreme behaviors and keep the situation sane, it is important to establish rules. For example, you can allow time for yelling and angry thoughts. Then, ask the client to act reasonably during the negotiations. Simple rules like this one can help the overall process and limit the consequences that result from grief.


The grief that results from divorce can get worse when the other parties involved do not acknowledge it. For this reason, it is helpful for mediators and attorneys to recognize the grief and act with compassion. In particular, make an effort to validate their feelings. This compassion and validation can strengthen the relationship between the client and the attorney. As a result, the clients are more likely to trust the advice of the legal expert.


In addition to compassion, many people can benefit from receiving helpful support while they are grieving. For example, the mediator and attorney can suggest group counseling sessions, therapy, or other remedies. They can also encourage the individual to make decisions that will lessen the grief and bring happiness. Nearly all clients can benefit from this type of support during a divorce.

Grief is a common aspect of nearly every divorce. When mediators and attorneys understand this, they can offer better guidance. As a result, the divorce mediation process improves and the end result is usually favorable. Although it is easy to focus solely on the legal aspects of this process, make sure to validate the grief and work to combat the consequences that result from it.

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