The Hell That Is Divorce Purgatory

Deciding to get a divorce is talked about a lot. Life after divorce is talked about a lot. What isn’t talked about as much is the in-between. The divorce process. Divorce purgatory. The time between announcing you’re filing for divorce and the moment you get the final judgment is filled with uncertainty, grief, and a ton of growth. How you cope with divorce purgatory is a personal journey, but there are a few things you can do to make it feel less hellish and more tolerable:

1. Learn how to communicate with your ex.

You will need to have some sort of communication with them during the divorce process, so figure out the best way to do that without causing yourself any more turmoil. If your divorce is high-conflict, that may mean using a co-parenting app or only communicating through your attorney or mediator- and that’s okay. Focus your communication on moving forward, so that you don’t end up stuck in divorce purgatory for any longer than you have to be.

2. Get the kids settled first.

Watching your children go through it is the only thing worse than going through divorce purgatory yourself. Any judge, mediator, or attorney’s first goal is to stabilize the children. This may involve getting temporary support orders and custody arrangements in place. If your kids are struggling with the transition, get them set up with support through a therapist or other mental health professional.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Going through the divorce process alone can feel isolating, overwhelming, and scary. There is so much paperwork to sort through, many decisions to make, and a lot of healing to take place. While your attorney or mediator can guide you through the divorce process itself, they don’t handle the emotional aspect of things. Seeking support for yourself in the form of a mental health professional, divorce coach, or divorce support group can make a huge difference in your healing process and get you out of divorce purgatory faster.

4. Remember that this isn’t forever.

The divorce process will eventually end, and you will move on- it just takes time. With each passing day, the light at the end of the tunnel gets a little bit closer. Oftentimes, knowing that a situation isn’t permanent makes it easier to handle.

Coping With the Unknown

The uncertainty of what’s to come is often one of the biggest reasons this in-between time feels like purgatory.

  • How long will the divorce take?
  • What will happen to the marital home?
  • Who will pay support?
  • What will the parenting schedule look like?
  • How will I feel when my ex starts dating?

These are just a few of the many unknowns to sort through during this difficult time. Educating yourself and surrounding yourself with a good support system are two of the best things you can do for yourself as you navigate these questions. While you can’t control every aspect of your divorce, you can control how you respond to the challenges that arise.

You don’t have to go through this alone. is here for you! Join our community to gain access to tools and resources that will educate you about the divorce process, along with support groups that will help you thrive, and divorce professionals that are trained to help you through the purgatory of divorce and into the next chapter of your life.

Looking for more information on this topic? Check out these helpful resources:

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Are you are ready to join our online Communitywe would love to have you! We have several experts in there waiting to help. Plus other divorcees you can connect and share stories with. Remember that you are not alone, even though it might feel like it at times. There are always people ready to support you- simply reach out your hand (or finger if you’re scrolling online!)

We get your struggles… We welcome you to visit our Support hub where we have created an informative and nurturing space using various modalities for you to get educated, emotionally supported and find your way. Our complimentary support groups like Coffee Talk and SOS: Support on Saturdays can be found here, along with many other helpful tools and resources.

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Essential Resources

If you’re facing legal/custody battles, a mental health crisis, an urgent medical issue, serious emotional problems, including suicidal thoughts, please seek help from the appropriate professionals near you.

Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Crisis line: 1-800-356-5395
Crisis text line: Text “help” to 741741
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) Resources Marital Life Inventory
Divorce Lifecycle Document
Divorce Process Overview


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