I’ve never been married. I’ve never been through a divorce. But, if breakups were credit card miles, I could fly around the world. The thing about loss, is that there is a similar feeling to every kind of loss: Death of a loved one, death of a pet, breakup, divorce, loss of an opportunity and so on. Each one hurts in its own way. However, divorce has more than one phase of pain that each party must endure to bring the marriage to an (legal) end.
Phase 1 Denial that things are getting bad in the relationship.
Phase 2 One person waking up to being in an unworkable situation (this often comes alongside affairs, cheating, and/or abuse.) It takes two Yes’ to keep a relationship together and one No to end it.
Phase 3 Deciding to get divorced.
Phase 4 Filing the paperwork and telling everyone you are getting divorced.
Phase 5 (Which most people skip) Going through Breakup Rehab or getting the right counselor to help process this limbo phase of life.
The law of each state governs who can get married and the reason he or she can file for divorce. For instance, Colorado grants the disillusionment of a marriage for the singular reason of irreconcilable differences. In California, fraud, mental illness or irreconcilable differences can be cited as the reason to end a marriage. But, before a reason is sighted and paperwork is filled out and filed, there is the painful purgatory of deciding to salvage the relationship or to end it.
I’m not a lawyer. I don’t practice law. I’m a breakup specialist and I deal with the emotionally taxing logistics and decisions that go with ending a romantic relationship.
Military couples endure moving often, separation, and long-distance parenting. Sometimes, the distance and the emotional toll a soldier goes through makes it impossible to stay connected in a way that supports everyone’s needs getting met. This was true for my friend who was married young, spent 15 years with his wife, had two kids with her and who will now have to give up 40% of his military retirement in alimony. I asked him, “What’s the most difficult part of the divorce?” He said, There isn’t a hardest part. It all sucks. It sucks when you feel the relationship falling apart. It sucks when she is unresponsive to attempts to save it. It sucks when she begins to date someone else. It sucks to have to figure out a “new normal”. It sucks to have to co-parent with someone who berates you. It sucks to have to be under financial distress because of the separation.
Divorce sends people into poverty. And when a spouse gets into a new romantic relationship where they are provided for, the court doesn’t acknowledge that.
I spoke with another man whose divorce took 6 grueling years. He cited the most difficult part being Anger. But, having his social status change from a couple who was invited to things into a man who was shunned from events wasn’t easy either.
Obviously, if either party has any sort of assets, if kids are involved, and if the ending of the marriage doesn’t mean the end of contact with one’s evil ex-spouse, there is a lot to consider before filing for divorce. However, over two million people do it every year.
So, if the hurt you are in by being your relationship is less than the pain of going through divorce, the first action step is to file the paperwork.
In most major cities, this can be done online. For example in San Diego you go to this link:
And in California, six months after the paperwork is filed and signed by both parties, the divorce can be granted. However, if there are assets like property, estate items, debt, or savings then a lawyer, mediator, or arbitrator will have to be involved.
Most Attorneys in Southern California will ask for a retainer of $3,000 to $5,000. Note, in most cases this will be enough to file the case on behalf of their client along with declarations and RFO- “request for orders” based on an average hourly rate of $275 to $325.
Also, a parenting plan will have to be drawn up for custody of the children.
The road ahead can be a long one filled with pitfalls, regret, guilt, shame, and anger if the right steps are not taken when ending a marriage. It’s best to consult a lawyer to see what your options are before filing paperwork. However, if you have no assets and both people understand that “It’s just not going to work out” ending a marriage can be fairly painless when it comes to logistics.
However, grief can build up in our bodies as resentment and turn into a life-ending disease if we don’t deal with the issues that attracted us to the person we spent years of our life with. The person we said, “I do” to. A lawyer won’t address those issues. For that, there is the 12 Step Breakup Rehab Treatment Program facilitated by Breakup Specialist Rebekah Freedom.
There is nothing more valuable than having a healthy relationship.
While not ideal, divorce is the very thing we some of us require in order to be brave and try again. For the rest of us figuring out the process of how to forgive and let go, how to trust ourselves again and how to heal and move forward, there is Breakup Rehab.
~Reference Howard Shelly
For more information on how to file for divorce in your state go to Superior court.”your state”.gov