Grief and High Conflict Divorce

This paper explores grief and high-conflict divorce. Divorce, like death, involves coming to terms with loss. Grieving is an important part of the divorce process. The loss experienced in divorce goes beyond loss of spouse. How a person responds to the loss is based on that person’s lifestyle. The paper will go on to describe many contributing factors of lifestyle and how lack of grief prolongs and promotes conflict. On-going conflict prevents productive and respectful co-parenting. Often times in high conflict divorces, the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, are overlooked and replaced with anger, resentment, guilt and lack of self-esteem. In order for conflict to be resolved, the entire family needs time to grieve and rebuild. When the loss of the original family system is not grieved a predictable cycle of conflict will continue.

Rachel M. Livingston
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