Child custody cases can be financially and emotionally draining for all parties involved, especially the…
Signs a Spouse May Be Planning a Divorce
Some behavioral signs and actions may indicate your spouse is laying the groundwork for divorce. It’s important to remember that each person and every relationship is unique, and there could be other reasons for changes in behavior. However, if you notice several of these behaviors simultaneously, it’s a good idea to document evidence and proactively take steps to protect yourself and any children you may have.
Whether you call it an inner voice, a feeling, or a gut instinct, something isn’t right. There has been a shift. The longer you choose not to face the possibility of divorce, the more time the other spouse has to prepare and perhaps take advantage of you.
One of the most significant concerns regarding a potential divorce is money. You may notice tell-tale signals your spouse has contact with a divorce attorney if you’re paying attention to your finances. Several warning signs may present themselves, such as:
- A spouse may become unwilling to share financial data or create roadblocks to shared accounts. You may notice changes in online passwords.
- Larger than usual or multiple cash withdrawals outside of routine may indicate cash is being saved to move to a new home or retain a divorce attorney.
- New financial statements in the mail regarding unfamiliar accounts.
- Unusual charges to credit cards to a florist or jewelry store for items not presented to you. Look for hotel charges during a spouse’s business trip without follow-up employer reimbursement. Any charges inconsistent with marital commitment may be suspect.
- If you normally pay bills and maintain a family budget, and your spouse suddenly shows interest in the family finances, a lawyer may have prompted them to check the financial situation. They might ask how much things cost, current home equity, income levels, monthly expenses, and more.
- Your tax returns are missing or moved from their standard location. This may indicate a spouse is making copies for an attorney or is safeguarding them.
- Your spouse be unwilling to commit to long-term financial planning. They may put off discussions about buying a new home or making new investments because they don’t intend to be there.
Signs Relating to the Children
If you have children and your spouse is planning a divorce, you might notice changes in their interaction with the kids to improve the public perception of their parenting and involvement in their lives. Signs regarding children include:
- Your spouse is more involved in the children’s school activities. They may attend school events, volunteer, or initiate parent-teacher contact for the first time.
- Your spouse may volunteer to take your child to the doctor when you have been responsible for attending to their health and appointments.
- Your spouse starts attending your children’s extracurricular activities rather than staying late at the office. They might volunteer to drive the children to events or coach a sports activity. Typically, you had been responsible for these activities.
- Your spouse may initiate one-on-one time with your child, like a weekend day for just the two of them.
- Your spouse may begin to cook family dinners, do the grocery shopping, or drive children to school in the mornings.
While all of this input may be welcomed by you and beneficial to your children, an ulterior motive may exist to present a public image of an involved parent capable of tending to their children. These changes often indicate contact with a divorce attorney offering advice.
Potential Signs of an Affair
Being a victim of an extramarital affair is perhaps the most personally difficult and emotionally challenging aspect of a spouse planning a divorce. Similarly to other signs of divorce, it begins with behavioral changes. These are some changes to look for:
- Your spouse changes their cell phone habits and keeps their phone on them rather than leave it lying around like before. They may change their password, significantly increase data usage, and have more text messages than the previous bill. Your access may be blocked from the family phone bill.
- There is a lack of physical intimacy, regardless of busy lives and hectic schedules. A spouse not getting intimacy in a marriage is likely looking elsewhere.
- You may notice your spouse is working out, dresses differently, wears cologne, or changes their hairstyle. They may be trying to please someone other than you.
- Your spouse may spend more time on the computer and social media, which is an easy way to befriend an old flame or find a new one. Under the guise of working, they may also engage in online porn as they have checked out of the marriage.
- Like an unwillingness to make long-term financial commitments, your spouse may avoid family vacation and holiday plans.
How to Prepare for Divorce
If you suspect your spouse is considering divorce, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your interests. Begin by gathering financial information about joint financial accounts, assets, and debts. Make copies of important documents like bank statements, tax returns, and investment accounts. Secure important documents like birth certificates, passports, and social security cards in a place where your spouse can’t access them.
Open a banking account and start depositing money to access funds if your spouse tries to cut off access to joint accounts. Take inventory of your property, including joint assets. Take videos or pictures of valuable items like jewelry, art, collections, and furniture. These records will help ensure the items are accounted for during the divorce process.
Try communicating with your spouse openly and honestly to see if they are considering a divorce and if there is a way to work together to find a mutually agreeable solution. Even if spousal communication is possible, it is time to consult with a divorce attorney who will help you understand your legal rights and options. Taking these steps to protect yourself doesn’t mean that a divorce is inevitable, but it can help protect yourself if it happens.
Speak to a Divorce Attorney
It can be very uncomfortable to initiate a divorce when you don’t want your marriage to end. Still, it’s important for the future well-being of you and your children. If you suspect your spouse is planning a divorce or have been served with divorce papers, hiring a divorce attorney or family law attorney is crucial to protect your rights and interests.
A divorce attorney can guide and advise you on the divorce process, including the division of assets and liabilities, child custody and support, and spousal support. They handle the paperwork and filings, help you understand your options, and advocate for you in court.
This article summarizes aspects of family law. It is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice, please contact our Houston office today at (713) 582-5088 or schedule a consultation.