15 Signs Divorce Isn’t in Your Cards, According to Divorce Lawyers
If you think your marriage is over, consider these relationship cues first.
Keeping your relationship going strong, year after year, can be a challenge. As your life changes, so will your relationship. Whether you just tied the knot or can count the years you've been married on two hands, here are the signs your relationship will escape a divorce, according to the lawyers who know best.
1 Communication is fluid.
A relationship where both people know how to communicate with one another, through tough, busy, and even exciting times, is a sign the relationship is set up for success. "The signs that we see that a couple should be married include first and foremost the ability to communicate with each other," sats Lisa Helfend Meyer, founding partner at Meyer, Olson, Lowy, and Meyers. "You can see that communication in many different ways including how they handle a prenup agreement or how they resolve issues involving finances and family. Those are signs of a healthy marriage. Communication far and above is the most important thing."
2 The passion is alive.
While PDA isn't in every couple's DNA, showing affection may be something that helps you two bond through good times and bad. "Couples that are affectionate and not necessarily sexually," says Helfend Meyer. "If they hold hands, kiss each other — those are signs of a healthy relationship."
3 Compromise happens.
The ability to find a middle ground with when you disagree is a good sign. Decisions shouldn't be your way or the highway, says Helfend Meyer. "If a woman wants to see the movie Wonder Woman and he wants to see Captain Underpants and they figure out how to make each other feel good about the movie they see, that's a solid indicator."
4 There are clear benefits to your marriage.
The fear of missing the perks of marriage can be enough to dissuade some from filing for divorce. "There are many benefits that disappear once you are no longer married," says Neena Tankha, a family law attorney and partner at Warshaw Burstein LLP in New York. "For example, you no longer reap the financial benefits of filing a joint tax return. You also no longer qualify to be covered as a spouse on your ex's health insurance."
5 You keep trying new things together.
A marriage that is exciting, fresh, and filled with new twists and turns may mean that you're less likely to leave. "Part of planning and experiencing new things is that there's the anticipation of trying something new, the creation of new memories, and the fun of each discovery," says Kathryn Dickerson, a principal and family law attorney at SmolenPlevy in metro Washington, D.C. "It recalls, in part, the excitement of when you started dating and discovering things about each other."
6 Your laugh through life.
Having things in common, like a sense of humor, helps a relationship stay strong. "Note that this is not at the other person's failings, but that you both find humor in the same thing - that you are both present and sharing a moment," says Dickerson. "There is something very cathartic but not necessarily sexual about laughing. It relieves stress and anxiety, and it causes endorphins to flow and creates positive associations with the other person."
7 You each have your own interests.
While having things in common is always helpful to a marriage, having your own interests and hobbies can also give your relationship the space it occasionally needs. "Having your own interests allows you to remain a whole person, not someone subsumed into the other person," says Dickerson. "It is also important that the other person supports your interests and participates."
8 You trust each other implicitly.
"If the parties still trust each other with each other's hearts, money, and children, a divorce isn't in your future," says Carolyn Grimes, a family law attorney at Wade, Grimes, Friedman, Meinken, and Leischner PLLC, in Alexandria, VA. "Without trust, there is no relationship and you might need to seek a divorce."
9 There's basic respect for each other.
It's often said that a solid marriage is built on the foundation of communication, trust, and, of course, respect. If respect is there, ending the relationship a solution you immediately consider when problems arise. "Mutual respect is essential for any successful marriage," says Grimes. "Loss of respect is usually a signal of the end. If even during a heated argument, both spouses still maintain a respectful tone, then there is still hope for your marriage. If your marriage lacks respect, you can still work toward finding it again."
10 You're willing to work things out.
While it's important to remember that no marriage is perfect, it's how you handle the problematic moments that will determine whether or not it's best to stay together. "We find there's a reduced chance of divorce when both spouses come to understand it's okay to be mad or sad, as long as they can also work toward apologizing and reconnecting," says Grimes. "Both spouses need to be persistent about making the marriage succeed, but they also should understand it takes time, determination, and hard work."
11 There's a deep-rooted connection.
Sometimes what separates a fixable marriage and a marriage headed for divorce is the bond between the two people. "When listening to the client at the first consultation, if there are signs that they have had a connection over the years, that's important," says Patricia M. Barbarito, managing partner with Einhorn Harris. "These powerful connections that, if explored, can often save a marriage."
12 Your marriage is the top priority.
When both parties make the relationship a priority, divorce is less likely. "It is a conscious decision to choose the relationship over all else, and a common value system—whether or not that's religion, morality, or commitment to family or culture," says Barbarito.
13 You didn't marry too young.
The age at which you married may be a risk factor for divorce. "In the event a couple marries in their early to mid-twenties, there are greater chances the couple will grow apart so that by the time they reach their mid-forties, they are bored out of their minds and divorce," says Eric N. Klein, Esq., principal attorney and president of Klein Law Group in south Florida. "Either party will feel as if they still have a future with another partner instead of waiting until they are 60 or 70, when they may feel as if life is over."
14 You share the same money goals.
Money is a significant cause of divorce, so making sure that you and your partner have the same values regarding money may be the key to keeping your relationship strong. "If both spouses are savers and live within their means, they then feel as if they are both heading for a common goal whether that goal is retirement or a stress-free, debt-free lifestyle," says Klein.
15 Both partners are relatively healthy.
Health, both psychical and emotional, can be a factor in whether one person in a marriage decides to call it quits. "Marriage is difficult under the best of circumstances," says Jessica Markham, attorney at law. "If one or both parties suffers from a mental health or mood disorder, including substance abuse, the normal stresses of marriage can become insurmountable. If both parties are emotionally healthy and/or treating their conditions, that's a really positive sign."
Our expert family law attorneys have been providing effective divorce representation in cases involving complex issues of property, spousal support and child custody since 1995. Contact our offices in Los Angeles or Irvine, California, to schedule a consultation about your family law matter.