Stages of the Relationship Post Separation

Posted by Erin Birt | Dec 03, 2010 | 0 Comments

Earlier we reviewed the stages of a divorce, and once the divorce is underway, the relationship too will also have stages, stages of transformation. This post will focus on the Stages of the Relationship Post Separation.

Yuval Berger MSW, RSW presented at the Advanced Collaborative Skills Training with the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, and he spoke about the following transformations of a relationship post separation:

1. Disintegration – “We” separated into “I”; Chaos;

2. Rebuilding separate selves;

3. Reconnection;

4. Team-up as parents;

5. Moving closer, ready to heal emotional wounds through a deeper connection.

Parties will progress through the above stages individually, but realize that most people do not reach Stage 5.  Most do not reach Stage 5 because most people have moved on and either began dating or found a new focus in their lives.

Navigating through the various stages takes time. This is a reason why it can be harmful to rush into a divorce and be subject to the court's clock.  Parties need time to go through the transformation in order to coherently and honestly discuss how to develop a future plan for their family.  And that is essentially what occurs during a divorce or separation: people are developing a future plan for their family. Maybe that is how lawyers should start referring to the settlement agreement: “the future plan for your family.”  All too often lawyers forget it is a future plan and just want to push through a settlement of past issues.  This is problematic for many reasons, and it is unlikely that a rushed settlement will be one that the family can follow for any significant amount of time.Time is what parties need and time is what parties can have in mediation and the collaborative process.

Contact us to learn how each stage impacts the divorce/separation process in greater detail and how we can protect you emotionally, financially and legally while guiding you through the Stages of the Relationship Post Separation

Schedule a Consultation with Attorney Erin Birt

About the Author

Erin Birt

Since 2003, Erin N. Birt, J.D., CADC has focused her practice on parenting time, divorce, mediation, and substance abuse issues. Ms. Birt's unique background in both family law and addictions counseling help her clients successfully navigate the complex issues of coparenting and divorce. Ms. Birt also devotes her time to presenting at continuing education seminars for attorneys, mediators, and counselors.


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