A divorce can still come as a big surprise for many spouses. A spouse may have been acting differently for months or years, or there could have been no obvious signs that there was anything wrong with the relationship. However, hindsight often provides clues that one spouse had been thinking about a divorce for some time. Looking out for these signs could provide an indication that your spouse may be planning a divorce and you need to get some advice on how to protect your interests.
Signs a Spouse is Planning a Divorce
The primary signs that someone is thinking about a divorce generally involve financial changes, changes involving the couple's children, or possible infidelity. Indications of an affair may not necessarily indicate the cheating spouse wants a divorce, but it could be a reason for the innocent spouse to want a divorce.
Sudden Financial Changes
Finances are a major factor in divorce. Financial issues could be a cause of divorce or give an indication that one spouse is making financial plans in consideration of an eventual separation or divorce. Some signs that might indicate problems or a divorce include:
- Arguing about money,
- Unexplained spending,
- Gambling losses,
- Going on more business trips,
- Having personal mail sent to the office,
- Changes in direct deposits,
- Sudden giving of expensive gifts,
- Changes in retirement savings, or
- Changes in business bonuses or commissions.
Changes in Dealing with Conflict
Couples headed for divorce often have an increase in disputes and fights. While arguing about things can be common in any relationship, there may be changes that indicate one spouse is giving up. This could include emotionally disengaging from any disputes or no longer arguing.
Moving Away from the Relationship
Other signs of a potential breakup include moving away from the relationship. This can include both physically and emotionally separating, such as:
- Spending more time at work,
- Spending more time on new hobbies,
- Spending more time with friends,
- Reconnecting with friends from the past,
- Traveling more for work or with friends,
- Lack of interest in sex, or
- More interest in spending time with the children.
Is Your Spouse Hiding Assets?
Another sign your spouse may be considering a divorce is by hiding assets. This can be difficult to identify, especially if your spouse handles most of the finances. By hiding assets in a divorce, the spouse may be trying to keep you from getting your fair share of marital property or post-separation support in a divorce.
Hiding assets to keep them from a divorcing spouse is likely illegal. If the court finds out about someone trying to hide money or property and not declare them in a divorce, the court may sanction the lying spouse and could increase the property or assets allocated to the innocent spouse. Talk to your North Carolina divorce lawyer about how to identify hidden assets and property in a divorce.
One Year Living Separately
A spouse may surprise you by talking about getting a divorce, but it is difficult for a spouse to issue divorce papers suddenly in North Carolina. Filing for divorce in North Carolina requires the couple to live separately and apart for at least one year. This generally involves living in a separate residence, not just sleeping in a separate bedroom. The one-year separation requirement can offer some protection to the other spouse to avoid a surprise divorce. The year apart allows the spouse time to find the right lawyer and prepare for the divorce.
North Carolina Divorce Attorneys Protecting You
At Caulder & Valentine Law Firm, PLLC, we have helped individuals in divorce and custody disputes protect their rights and interests. Contact us today in Shelby for a consultation.