8 Signs Your Spouse is Seeing a Divorce Attorney

Attorneys Ilona Antonyan and Tim Miranda on Potential Divorce Signs

Attorneys Ilona Antonyan and Tim Miranda on Potential Divorce Signs

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You’re probably on the casual lookout for signs that your spouse has found someone nicer, richer and better in bed. I mean, you’d notice a spare phone, someone else’s garage clicker. But what about the signs of a divorce attorney? Ilona Antonyan and Timothy Miranda, two of San Diego’s finest family lawyers, know the warning signs well because they strive to avoid leaving a trail of them!

1. Changed Passwords

TIM MIRANDA: Spouses often share passcodes to their email, phones and bank accounts. When access is suddenly revoked, this is one of the signs that someone has lawyered up and is trying to shield data.

2. Lost or Missing Documents

ILONA ANTONYAN: Both spouses should know what their marital estate consists of. Checking the mail and home office files to verify the status of financial and other  important accounts may be a good idea. If certain statements are missing, incomplete, under lock or otherwise conspicuously out of order, that could be a sign that the other spouse is gathering information to give to an attorney, or perhaps is removing the information altogether to prevent the other spouse from giving it to their (eventual) attorney.

Ilona Antoynan

3. Becoming a “Better” Partner or Parent

MIRANDA: Many people with issues that can be detrimental to their position in a divorce, such as substance-abuse problems, begin to shape up quickly and conspicuously when they plan on filing. This is particularly true where child custody will be an issue, as they don’t want to get nailed with any recent allegations of activity that might be considered detrimental to the best interest of the child. So, at the advice of their attorney, they’ll overtly clean up their act. For example, they won’t drink around the house anymore or will go out and finally obtain that medical marijuana card.

Similarly, a working or “busy” parent who  has primarily delegated parenting tasks to the other spouse will suddenly start to show an interest in Johnny’s underwater basket-weaving class. This false status quo of involvement will be used as a point of reference in a contested custody matter to countervail the non-working or “less busy” parent’s contention that they have a stronger bond with the child.

4. The Brush-Off from Shared Financial Professionals

ANTONYAN: Often, one of the spouses makes most or all of the money for the household. The “out” spouse may detect that the CPA, financial planner or similar professionals theoretically working for both parties no longer returns phone calls or has straightforward answers—as if they’ve been told by the breadwinner not to disclose information to the out spouse.

5. An Intentional Business Slowdown

MIRANDA: A primarily commission-driven spouse may no longer sell as many widgets as they historically have, even though the market for widgets remains constant. An hourly employee may no longer have the desire to earn [what’s] needed or available overtime. A business owner may abruptly put their grand plans to expand the business on hold. Essentially, be on the lookout for signs that the spouse is no longer earning at their normal capacity, as this is a common way to artificially deflate income at or about the time of the divorce filing (so that their financial support exposure will be lessened).