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Lombard estate planning attorneyMost people are familiar with the concept of different “stages of grief.” While you may not necessarily be able to list the five stages as they were introduced in 1969, you are most likely aware that grieving, for most people, is a process with fairly distinct elements. While there are other situations that could cause a person to go through the grieving process—such as a divorce or giving a child up for adoption—the most common is during the period following the death of a loved one. When you die, your children, grandchildren, and other family members will almost certainly experience a great deal of grief, which makes responsible estate planning all the more important.

What Are the Five Stages?

In 1969, a Swiss-American psychiatrist named Elisabeth Kubler-Ross published a book called "On Death and Dying" which introduced the stages of grief as she saw them. Based on her experience and study, she identified the five stages as Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Despite being laid out as linear—suggesting that one stage leads into the next—the reality is much more complicated. A person who is largely in the Anger stage of grief is likely to experience moments or days of Denial and Depression. He or she may even skip a stage and effectively come back to it at a later point.

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 stages of griefDivorce could be briefly defined as the legal technicality that changes your marital status on your Federal 1040 form, but aside from the legalities involved, divorce is also an emotional process that will need attention and further defined as to how you plan to handle it.

 According to a recent article by Pauline H. Tesler, M.A., J.D. and Peggy Thompson, Ph.D, not one person will handle their divorce to the same degree as say the neighbor down the street or the co-worker in the next cube. According to the authors, there are predictable emotions that will manage to surface for anyone working through a divorce. How you handle these "normal" emotions is up to you. You could find yourself dealing with them with ease and grace or you could find yourself dealing with a diminished capacity of all logical thought patterns affecting your ability to think clearly or to make rational decisions. For all comparative purposes, the stages of grief brought forth by the legal loss of a marriage closely parallel those experienced when dealing with the death of a loved one. In their article, The Emotional Roller Coaster of Divorce, posted to Woman's Divorce.com, the authors discuss each dip of the Divorce Roller Coaster track:
  •  Denial
    •  Nope, this isn't happening to us! My marriage is on track! We can fix this!
  •  Anger
    •  How dare he or she! After all I've done! How is this fair!
  •  Resentment
    •  This is all his or her fault! Surely not mine!
  •  Bargaining
    •  We could work this out! You can change! I will change! What if you do this or I do that?
  •  Depression
    •  There is nothing I can do! He or she is actually out the door and not coming back!
  •  Acceptance
    •  Ok, I am done! Have it your way! There is no turning back! This is over!
Both Tesler and Thompson cite that our culture and our courts are eager for the next ride to begin. For many, moving forward with a divorce is often at the time one is still at the bottom of the first hill and not quite ready for the next twist or turn. For those still gripped by grief, guilt, shame, anxiety or fear it may be time to opt for the back of the line and only when emotionally ready, hand over their ticket to an experienced divorce attorney. Once aboard and able to make clear cut decisions regarding your divorce, you may be ready to throw up your hands and throw all disparaging emotions to the wind. If you are uneasily facing a divorce, the law team of A. Traub & Associates are here to provide you with the attention and informative legal guidance you need to put you in the best position to obtain the results you desire. Our goal is to do everything possible to ensure your best interests are protected. We will listen to your concerns, help you work through them and offer you supportive legal counsel, all in a friendly atmosphere. There is no need to feel intimidated about your legal situation when we can help you find a favorable solution Contact us today. We can help.
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