There are cases where both spouses start thinking about divorce at the same time. Maybe they have a major disagreement, for example, and they both walk away from it knowing that the marriage has to end. However, there are also many cases where one person is thinking of ending the marriage and the other has no idea.
If you’re the spouse who hasn’t considered it yet, this can put you at a disadvantage. Your spouse gets time to gather paperwork, consider what they want, think about the process, open their own bank accounts and much more. You may feel like they had months to get everything in order and now you have to rush through the process after they file just so you can get caught up. You can avoid this if you know what signs to look for and you can predict the divorce in advance.
Examples of divorce red flags
To help you understand your spouse’s mindset, you can look for red flags. These don’t guarantee divorce, but they can tell you that something is wrong. Red flags include:
- Your spouse used to start arguments frequently, but they stop doing it. This may feel positive, but it could just mean they’ve given up since they know they’re leaving.
- Your spouse starts making major changes. Maybe they hit the gym and lose weight. Maybe they start spending more or less money. Big changes may mean that others are coming.
- You stop spending any time together when it’s just the two of you. Things still feel “normal” when others are around, but you’re silent and distant together at the house.
- There is a shift in communication so that you barely talk to one another. Communication breakdowns can cause divorce or they can happen when one person is already planning that split.
- Negative feelings clearly escalate. Maybe your spouse just seemed annoyed with you before, but now it seems like they feel contempt for you.
If you do see these red flags, it may be time for a talk with your spouse or a call to your lawyer. It’s wise to prepare for divorce as far in advance as you can, and you must understand all of your legal options.