Divorce doesn’t happen overnight in Minnesota. Couples seeking to end their marriage must go through several steps before the marriage is legally dissolved.
Even after the divorce is finalized, there are steps that divorced couples must go through. These steps are very similar to the stages of grief and can take years to get through.
First stages of divorce
Many couples will be in shock when they agree to divorce, regardless of who was the one to suggest it. This shock can express itself as relief, anger, sadness, or even guilt – but it’s important to move through the shock to feel the emotions.
There’s also a step called the “three-week blur.” This blur refers to the initial separation, such as a partner moving out and telling friends and families.
This blur or feeling of shock can last for a while but generally may start wearing off around the three-month mark. This is when they may still feel guilt (or relief), but can generally function better in their day-to-day activities.
Most divorce proceedings begin six months to a year from initially agreeing to divorce or filing for it. During this time, each person has been doing their best to move on from the relationship.
They’ve settled into their own apartment and are building their separate friends and family support systems. If there are children involved, a temporary custody agreement has been drafted and one person may already be back on the dating scene.
The legal process may take a few months to years, depending on how willing the couple is to work together and how much money is involved. Generally, most divorces are completed by the one-year mark.
After it’s finalized
Generally, couples can start to put the marriage behind them after a year or two from initially filing. This can be harder if children are involved, but it’s not impossible. This is when most people truly accept their divorce and can move forward.