Stages of Separation and What to Consider

Stages of Separation and What to ConsiderThe end of a relationship may be inevitable and welcome to unhappy couples, however this doesn’t mean that each party won’t experience a sense of loss and grief throughout the separating process.

Acclaimed psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross says “Couples who have experienced a painful relationship breakup will often go through several stages as they cope with their loss…it’s important to remember that this is not a linear process where a person will go through one stage at a time. Human beings are complex and can experience many feelings at the same time or not feel some of these things at all.”[1]


Stages of separation

  • shock and denial that it is really happening
  • anger and blaming your former partner or another person
  • sadness and depression
  • moving forward – acceptance and adjustment to your new life.[2]

Related Article: Considering Divorce? You Need an Exit Plan!

What needs to be considered

Whist this time can be emotionally taxing for each party, some immediate decisions concerning practical issues must be made. Temporary agreements are worth discussing until legal advice is pursued on the following;

  • where your children live and who will take care of them
  • how you and your former partner will support yourselves and your children
  • what, how and when you will tell the children, other family members and friends
  • who will pay outstanding bills or debts
  • who will stay in the house
  • how will the rent or mortgage be paid
  • what will happen to any joint bank, building society or credit union accounts
  • what will happen to the house, car, furniture and other property.[3]

For more articles please visit the Resolve Conflict Blog here. If you have any queries on Family Law or Mediation please don’t hesitate to contact us on 03 9620 0088 or email


[1] Centre For Relationship Development
[2] Family Court Of Australia
[3] Family Court Of Australia


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