Some Colorado couples prefer to end their marriage the way they started it: with a ceremony. More ex-couples across the U.S. are participating in “divorce ceremonies,” in which the couple spiritually marks the end of their relationship. It may sound somewhat bizarre, but for some it brings the closure divorcing couples crave.

Such a ceremony can mark a clear end to a relationship so that both parties can move forward. They can help people get past their disappointment, and perhaps their anger. Sometimes family and friends are invited; many prefer that the ceremony be kept private and intimate.

These ceremonies in no way involve a legal end to marriages. That is still up to the courts. But they often are formal gatherings that end on a hopeful note. Ending a marriage amicably came make one’s relationship with other family members, including the children born of a marriage, much more smooth.

There are more divorced people now than perhaps ever before. In 2010, 14 percent of the American adult population was divorced. That compares with 11 percent in 1990, 9 percent in 1980 and 6 percent in 1970.

These sorts of divorce ceremonies are on the rise too. So are “divorce parties,” although those tend to involve only one spouse who gathers with friends to celebrate new beginnings. However, those can also dwell on one’s bitter feelings toward their ex, while divorce ceremonies show a true intent to move past the sad feelings a divorce can bring.

Source: Huffington Post, “Divorce ceremonies,” Liz Mandarano, July 3, 2012