10 Tell-Tale Signs of a Divorce Ahead

Divorce Questions
The signs of a divorce can look different for every couple, but there are some universal signals a marriage isn't working. Here are 10 sign to look for.

Four in ten first marriages end in divorce.

While no one wants to be a statistic, sometimes it's inevitable. If your marriage isn't what is once was, it might be time to file for divorce.

It can be hard to know when it's time to call it quits. When there are so many emotions involved, you might find it easier to stay, even when you know you shouldn't.

In this article, well tell you the most common signs of a divorce we see from our clients. If you can identify with a lot of them, you may need to contact a lawyer.

The Most Common Signs of a Divorce

Not sure if your marital problems are severe enough to be grounds for divorce? Read on to find out.

1. Lack of Communication

Communication is vital for a happy, functioning, long-lasting marriage. A lack of it is one of the first signs of a divorce for many couples.

You need to be open and honest with each other about your feelings, your plans, and your general daily lives. If you're not, you won't be able to overcome the obstacles that come with marriage.

It's not just about talking. You need to understand each other's non-verbal cues, too. When you know your partner inside and out, you can often tell when they're upset without having to ask. This is because you pay attention to their individual body language as well as what they say to you.

If one or both of you is no longer communicating, things can start to fall apart. When there's an elephant in the room, you need to address it. Otherwise, it could turn into one of the early signs of a divorce ahead.

It may only start as small things at first, but they can quickly snowball into something much more serious. If you bottle things up every time you're upset or angry with your spouse, they won't be able to fix things. Eventually, it could all come out in a huge argument that could change the course of the entire relationship.

If you're no longer communicating with your partner in a healthy way, ask yourself why. Is it the usual bump in the road, or could it be one of the glaring signs of a divorce?

2. Emotional Withdrawal

Are you reaching out to someone else for the emotional support you would normally get from your spouse? While it may only seem like something small, this is one of the first signs of divorce.

You might find yourself becoming emotionally attached to someone else, whether it's a friend, a work colleague, or someone you met online. Some people see this as another form of cheating.

You might feel as though your partner isn't still capable of giving you the emotional input you need. If you start to withdraw from your emotional connection as a result, they'll eventually feel it.

From there, the two of you could grow more and more distant. If the matter isn't addressed, it's a slippery slope downhill from there.

3. Your Lives Become Separate

Are you and your spouse seeing less and less of each other?

When you both have busy lives and careers, this isn't out of the ordinary. However, if you're not making time to spend with each other, things can start to fall apart.

You might be feeling as if you don't want to spend as much time together anymore. That can be a red flag, too. If you're not opening up to your partner and letting them know how you feel, it could be a sign that a connection has been lost.

This can lead to other problems later down the line. It's best to try and correct this as early as possible. If you're finding that your efforts aren't coming to fruition, it might be time to go your separate ways altogether.

4. You Avoid Spending Time Together

Do you sometimes wish your partner would just leave you alone? Has their presence become a nuisance rather than a comfort?

We all need our own space, but when it comes down to it, you should look forward to spending time with your spouse.

You might be making excuses not to see your partner without even realizing it. Staying late at work and spending more time with your friends are common ways to do that.

This is one of the more subtle signs of a divorce that can go unnoticed for long periods of time. You might put it down to differences in personality, having separate interests, and trusting each other.

If you're spending more and more time away from each other out of choice, it's a bad sign. You might just not enjoy their company anymore.

5. Intimacy Wanes

The 'honeymoon period' can only last so long.

It's only natural that you'll go through periods where you aren't having as much sex as you used to. However, if this becomes a constant theme in your marriage, alarm bells should start ringing.

When you and your spouse are no longer intimate, you may start to feel as though they're no longer attracted to you. This can cause insecurity and resentment to build, and these emotions will leak into other aspects of your relationship.

There are lots of different reasons why couples stop having sex.

Libido goes up and down over time, and it's not always mutual. That's where the issue lies for many couples. Mismatched sex drives can cause lots of problems between partners.

If one of you just doesn't feel like having sex anymore, the other may become frustrated and offended. In some cases, this can even lead to infidelity.

However, this isn't usually a stand-alone problem. That's why it's one of the main signs of a divorce.

If you find that you're just not in the mood anymore, it could be an indication of other underlying issues between you.

6. Repeated Arguments

All couples fight from time to time. As much as we hate to admit it, it's part and parcel of marriage.

Whether it's about money, trust issues, family plans, or just what to have for dinner, you're bound to fight now and then. The way you do it is what really matters.

Even when you don't agree with each other, it's important to maintain respect. You have to allow your partner to tell you how they feel. Then, you have to make sure you really listen when they do so, and are willing to take on what they have to say.

Instead of storming off, keeping score, or making petty attempts to get back at each other, you need to resolve conflicts in a dignified manner. If you're having trouble doing that on your own, marriage counseling can help.

Pay attention to what happens before, during and after conflicts arise. Poorly managed disagreements are often one of the signs of a divorce.

Does your partner respect your views? Are they willing to apologize when they've upset you? Do they take steps to make the changes that you both agree on during these conflicts?

If not, counseling could be a lost cause. Arguments that become frequent and unresolved can indicate that things have turned sour. Perhaps you just aren't right for each other anymore.

7. You're Not on the Same Team Anymore

Loss of trust can happen gradually over time, and eventually, you might feel as though your partner doesn't support you anymore.

It could be in the way they respond to you. When you vent to them about things that are bothering you at work, do they make you feel as thought you're the one at fault? Repeated incidents like this may cause you to become closed off.

When you're vulnerable, you need to know that your spouse is there for you. After all, you're supposed to be a team. Not working together is one of the signs of a divorce that can be difficult to accept.

They should be the closest one to you, and the person with whom you feel most comfortable sharing your secrets. Isn't that part of the reason why you married them in the first place?

This has to go both ways. If that support system is no longer there, it's one of the signs of a divorce.

8. Constant Criticism

Have negative feelings completely taken over your marriage?

There are bound to be things your partner does that irritate you. It could be anything from the way they chew their food to the way they discipline your children. You need to handle these feelings in the right way.

Constantly nit-picking and criticizing is not the way to do it. That causes resentment that can break a couple apart. You're allowed to be annoyed by your husband or wife, but holding disdain for them is one of the surest signs of a divorce.

Weigh up all the things that they do to annoy you against all of the things you like about them. Write them out in a list if you have to. If there are more negatives than positives, you have a serious problem on your hands.

You should be able to look at that list and see a multitude of reasons to stay with them. If you don't, it's might be better for both of you to walk away.

9. Date Nights Become Non-Existent

Dating doesn't have to end after marriage.

In fact, it's essential that you take time and effort to do fun things as a couple, no matter how long you've been together. If you don't, the spark can easily begin to fade.

This doesn't have to include grand gestures like weekends away or trips to fancy restaurants and hotels. It could be as simple as cooking a nice dinner, buying a small gift, or just sending a sweet text to let your partner know you're thinking of them.

These things keep romance alive, and it's important that effort is made to keep it going on both sides. If your partner isn't doing these things anymore, it could mean that they're not as invested in the relationship as they once were.

However, it could just mean that they've dropped the ball. When relationships last for many years, spouses can often stop putting in as much effort as they used to. It's a natural reaction as you become comfortable.

Talk about it as a couple and try to work through it together. If that doesn't bring the spark back, you might just have to admit that you've fallen out of love with each other.

10. Serial Cheating

The last item on our list of signs of a divorce is one of the most difficult.

Affairs are one of the most common causes and signs of a divorce. It's a huge betrayal that can be hard to come back from.

However, cheating doesn't always spell the end of a marriage. Plenty of couples work through it together. Some of them even allow sex with another partner as part of a mutual agreement.

However, boundaries need to be set and respected for a marriage to work. If your partner is repeatedly straying from you, the deceit and disrespect can be hard to overcome.

How many times can you forgive them? If they're a serial cheater, it's unlikely that their behavior is going to change.

In that same vein, if you're finding yourself looking for intimacy elsewhere, your marriage could be on the rocks. People don't cheat when they're happy. It's often one of the signs of a divorce being something they desire.

If cheating is an issue in your marriage, try to get to the root cause of it. If you can't overcome it as a couple, a divorce is likely to be on the cards.

Take the Next Step

If you've spotted some of these signs of a divorce in your marriage, you'll need some help.

A divorce can be an extremely difficult process to go through. As well as paperwork, marital assets, and court proceedings to go through, there is a huge amount of emotional labor involved.

A family lawyer can guide you through the legal process to make it as easy as possible.

It's important that you find the right person to help you through this stage of your life. They need to be experienced and supportive, with a great track record of previous divorce cases.

Make sure you do your research and explore all of your options before deciding which law firm to go with. To help you decide who's right for you, use our list of questions to ask a divorce lawyer.

7 Divorce Questions to Ask Your Lawyer

Divorce Questions
Are you going through divorce proceedings and need to hire a lawyer? Here are 7 divorce questions to ask your lawyer so you'll better understand the process.

Are you and your spouse considering a divorce?

Whether you've already begun proceedings or you're still unsure of how to get started, you're not alone. With a 48% current divorce rate in Canada, many couples have unanswered divorce questions.

No matter where you are in the divorce process, help is available. Your first step should be to find a reputable family law lawyer.

When you set up your consultation, bring this list of seven divorce questions to ask. This way, you'll have a much better grasp of the divorce process.

1. What Is Your Fee Structure?

The first question you need to ask is how the lawyer will bill you.

Different law firms have different fee structures, so it's vital to understand exactly what you will (or won't) be charged for.

Here's a short list to get you started:

  • Is the initial consultation free? If not, how much is it?
  • Will you be billed by the hour, or will you pay a fixed fee?
  • Will you be charged for the time spent answering questions via email or phone calls?
  • Do you charge a retainer fee? If so, how does it work?

Remember that divorce proceedings can take months or even years. Be sure you understand exactly what you're signing up for--and make sure you can afford it!

2. What Are the Local Divorce Laws?

Every divorce in Canada is governed by the Federal Divorce Act. However, procedures in each province or territory can vary greatly.

When asking divorce questions, it's vital to understand the variations in your specific jurisdiction. These can have a tremendous impact on factors like custody arrangements or child and spousal support.

Do both you and your spouse agree to the divorce? If so, you may be able to file an uncontested divorce. In general, these types of divorces are the easiest to navigate.

What if one of you doesn't agree to the terms of your divorce? What if your spouse is determined to prolong the process over a custody battle or another disagreement?

In that case, you're looking at a contested divorce, which will require more time and money to settle. Your lawyer can help to guide you through the process and explain all local divorce laws to you.

3. How Long Have You Practiced Divorce Law?

No rule says a newer lawyer can't be a good one. Recent law school graduates often bring a lot of energy and in-depth knowledge of new laws and technology to the table.

Still, in most cases, there's no substitute for experience. When you meet your potential lawyer, find out how long they've been practicing family and divorce law.

Do they know the local judges and opposing lawyers? Are they familiar with all local divorce laws, including any new legislation? How much trial experience do they have?

Any lawyer you're considering hiring should also have experience in negotiating separation agreements, court orders, and pleadings.

4. How Many Similar Cases Have You Taken to Trial?

As mentioned above, there's no substitute for experience. This applies strongly to trial experience.

It's one thing for a lawyer to have "handled" divorce cases. It's quite another to have actually taken cases to court--and won.

True, most divorce cases settle out of court, so trials aren't always necessary. But if you're facing a contested divorce and you and your spouse can't seem to agree on anything, you need to be prepared for the possibility of going to court.

Look for a lawyer who has a reasonable balance of trial experience but is still an advocate for negotiations and settlements.

5. How Can I Best Achieve My Goals?

Just like every marriage is different, every divorce is different. Five million Canadians have separated or divorced in the past 20 years, but every single one of their needs was unique.

While your lawyer should have a general "road map" of procedures they follow, they should also be willing to discuss other possibilities that relate to you personally.

Some cases require little more than a separation agreement and a property settlement. This may or may not be sufficient for your situation.

You should feel comfortable outlining your needs and goals with your potential lawyer. In turn, he or she should be able to explain the divorce process in a way you can understand.

Whatever your specific goals for your divorce, your lawyer should be able to outline how to get you from Point A to Point B.

6. How Much Do You Think My Divorce Will Cost?

This is one of the most important divorce questions to ask. Even with an understanding of the lawyer's fee structure, it's impossible to give an exact fee quote.

Since each divorce case is different, final costs and fees usually differ as well. If your divorce requires more time, guidance, and legal services than your neighbor's, it's only reasonable that you'll pay more.

While your lawyer won't be able to give you an exact figure, they should be able to provide a general estimate. They should base this on previous cases they handled that were similar to yours.

7. What Should I Do Now to Protect Myself?

Before you leave that first consultation, make sure you have a clear picture of what to do next.

Do you know how to deal with joint bank or credit accounts? Should you be paying temporary child support or alimony? Do you need to be cautious about what you post or share on social media?

An experienced lawyer can advise you on these and other common sense ways to protect yourself and your assets. These can save you a lot of money and aggravation down the road, as your divorce proceedings continue.

Divorce Questions and More

The truth is that nothing about the divorce process is easy. Even uncontested divorces create mental, emotional, and financial strain.

You may feel like you're all alone, but that's not the case. With the right divorce lawyer on your side, you can successfully navigate the legal system.

If you're considering a divorce, we invite you to contact us to discuss your situation.

You're also welcome to browse our legal blog for more helpful advice on the divorce process and how a reputable law firm can help.