Signs Your Spouse May Be Planning a Divorce

Posted by Josh Valentine | Dec 23, 2019

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.

About the Author

Josh Valentine

You could say Josh has a God-given ability for sustaining long-term relationships. He and his wife first met in elementary school and went to Gardner Webb University (GWU) together, where they tied for number 1 in their class. Then, they both started law school on the same day of their graduation and got married during their first semester. He has also known his law partner Blake Caulder since Kindergarten. Theirs is the perfect partnership. “He’s the brake; I am the accelerator,” Josh says. Both Josh and his wife attended an innovative program at Charlotte Law School that allowed them to complete law school in two years instead of the typical three. His wife graduated and passed the North Carolina bar at age 20, becoming one of the youngest attorneys in the state. He readily admits she’s smarter than him. Of course, Josh went on to pass the North Carolina State Bar himself and later the South Carolina State Bar. While in school, he was Associate Editor of the Law Review and received accolades like Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society membership, Order of the Crown, Pro Bono Honors, CALI Awards (highest grade). In his career as a lawyer, he has been admitted to the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, is a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, and completed training for DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Josh has also been named to the Top 40 Under 40 for Criminal Defense by The National Trial Lawyers, the Business North Carolina 2019 Legal Elite for Criminal Defense, and the 10 Best Attorneys for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys three years in a row (2016, 2017, and 2018). Community involvement has been important to Josh all his life. In high school, he participated in building a Holocaust museum that has become internationally regarded. He and his wife are actively engaged in animal rescue, which currently means seven cats and two kittens. He served in prison ministry and assisted with fundraiser banquets there, and he provides pro bono and reduced fee legal services to those in need. As if all of that weren’t enough, Josh also mentors high risk youth and helps with his church’s youth group. He participates in other community volunteer projects involving construction, remodeling, drywall, painting, and landscaping. He’s an active student of the Bible and has traveled to Israel, Brazil, and Europe for mission work. No one can say Josh isn’t a well-rounded individual. In his spare time, he likes to play softball, basketball, and tennis, and he can play the piano and trombone. Sometimes on weekends, believe it or not, he enjoys pouring and finishing concrete with friends who own a concrete and grading business. In his law practice, Josh has made it a point to develop positive relationships with officers, clerks, and district attorneys, which has proven invaluable in delivering positive results for his clients. It’s important to him to both listen to his clients and fight for them. Law enforcement officers have important responsibilities to keep our communities safe and uphold the law, but one of the responsibilities of attorneys is to make sure officers do their job correctly. Josh considers it his job to hold them accountable for their actions. Josh is a person of deep faith. He knows that the established order of our universe and strength of America’s Judeo-Christian influenced court system is built on God’s word. His passion to serve each client with innovation, excellence and integrity is a byproduct of his faith. When asked why he became a lawyer, Josh says, “All through my life, I have personally witnessed family members and very close friends endure divorce, child custody battles, bankruptcy, civil lawsuits, and even fraudulent criminal accusations. I both saw and experienced the stress such events can place on an individual, and I realized that everyone, at some point in their life, needs hope, comfort, and encouragement. In each one of those situations, the person who was best situated to provide that vital support was their lawyer. So that’s why I became an attorney. I understand what you are going through, and I’m here to help you. Our office is focused on meeting your needs and guiding you through what may be the most difficult time of your life.” Education: Charlotte School of Law J.D., Magna Cum Laude Class Rank – 21 of 328 Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review Certification and Concentration in Employment Law Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Order of the Crown Pro Bono Honors CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process I and Contracts I Full Scholarship Gardner-Webb University B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society Bar Admissions: North Carolina State Bar