No one gets married thinking, “One day I’m going to need to find a divorce lawyer.” In fact, many people don’t even realize that it’s time to find a divorce lawyer until they’ve been served with divorce papers from their spouse. Unfortunately, by the time this happens, much of the factors that would have helped the outcome of your divorce are past and their divorce lawyer’s hands are tied. Between child custody, separation of assets, alimony or custody payments, there are so many delicate matters involved in marital separation, even if you are filing uncontested divorce forms.
For this reason, it’s important to know the signs of when you need to find a divorce lawyer, even if you’d never dream of the “D word” yourself:
Three Signs You Need to Find a Divorce Lawyer
- You Spouse Suddenly Changes the Way You Manage Your Finances
It is not uncommon for one spouse in the relationship to pay all the bills and keep track of your budget for the family. It’s always beneficial if the spouse who pays less attention to the bills suddenly decides to step in and partner with you in reaching your mutual financial goals. However, if they are suddenly interested in financial management in a way that is less team-oriented, it could be a red flag that they are planning to jump ship. If they suddenly ask questions such as how much the mortgage and car payments are, and how much equity you have in your home, this might be a sign that they are already working with a lawyer to collect a list of assets for a potential divorce.
If the spouse who wants out already does the books for the team, you might see alarming triggers such as password changes and being secretive about your money. This could be a sign that they are pulling cash out of your mutual account to build their nest egg for when they leave or to pay for an attorney.
- Your Spouse Suddenly Changes Management of the Kids
Like your finances, it’s not uncommon for one parent to go to the parent-teacher conferences at school and the doctor’s appointments, and so on. It’s not a bad thing for the less-involved parent to suddenly take interest in the kids’ upbringing, as long as it is approached in a teamwork-oriented fashion. If they want to join you in parent night as school, that’s great. If they want to set up a parent-teacher meeting without including you, this is a red flag.
Sometimes the less-involved parent suddenly tries to take the reigns in order to gain leverage at custody hearings that they anticipate going through, or to make their kid into an ally. The point here is that if there is a sudden and unexplained change in the way that your spouse handles management of your kids, particularly if you are not being included in it, you might want to think about finding a lawyer.
- Your Spouse Seems Like a Different Person in the Bedroom
We’re going to try to keep this topic G-rated, so here goes: As married people, we often fall into routine as far as the horizontal tango is concerned. Maybe you guys manage to swing it one or two times a week, maybe more or less. Most couples are fairly consistent with it, whatever you do.
You might consider it a red flag if your routine abruptly changes without explanation. If you were a twice-a-week kind of couple, and your spouse suddenly has no interest in it, it might be a sign that their needs are being met outside of your marital commitment. (Caveat- sometimes a sudden loss of libido is a health issue. If you see no other warning signs, you might want to have an honest talk about visiting a doctor before jumping to the infidelity card.) On the flip side, if you are a once-a-week kind of couple and all the sudden your spouse is ready to roll every night, or suddenly turning up with new moves, maybe the magic has reignited. But maybe it’s also a sign that they could be learning new tricks on the side, and you might want to consider talking to a divorce attorney.
Do you have any other tips to add? Please share below! Links like this.