4 Signs That it is Time to Get Divorced

by | Jan 15, 2024 | Divorce, Family, Family Law, Significant Decisions

How do you know when it is time to get divorced? There are several signs that it is time to get divorced and we will cover four of the most common signs of divorce in this article.

Divorce is one of the most serious and difficult decisions you can make, and only you can decide if you are ready to get divorced.  Even though every case and every marriage is different, we have seen a lot of common themes over the years that indicate it is time to get divorced.


Here are four signs that it is time to get divorced:


Winning is everything

Believe it or not, it is normal for couples to argue from time to time.  In fact, it may be a concerning sign if you never argue!

If your arguments get to the point that solving the issue at hand is not the goal, but rather winning and shifting blame is all that matters, then it may be time to get divorced.

Being willing to work hard to resolve your disagreements and come to a mutual resolution is a sign of a healthy relationship.


Just a few examples:

  • If your partner constantly criticizes you and nothing you ever do is good enough, even though they are not perfect.
  • If you or your partner becomes focused more on evidence and facts rather than feelings; i.e. you cannot communicate your unhappiness and stress without them bringing receipts to prove your feelings are wrong.
  • If you raise an issue or concern and they immediately change the subject to shift blame to you, such as “I only yelled at you because you won’t clean up the kitchen!”
  • Whataboutism – every time you raise an issue of concern they are ready with a laundry list of everything they think you have ever done wrong.


If you and/or your partner would rather be right than happy, it may be time to get divorced.


Avoidance and Absence

If you and your partner are coexisting in the same space and not communicating, it may be time to get divorced.  In a partnership, your partner is your go-to person that you can confide in and lean on when times get tough.

If you don’t want to confide in them or lean on them, or you can’t, that is a sign that your relationship is over.  You may find yourselves wanting to get emotional support from others, or not wanting to check in with them on how they are doing.  They don’t answer the phone when you call or respond to your texts.

Basic communication and courtesy break down or no longer exists.  That might mean your heart, or theirs, is not in the marriage anymore.

If you or your partner choose to change your habits so that you are physically not around each other as much, that can also be a sign that it is time to get divorced.

For instance, if your partner faithfully got home at 5:30pm for years and now they never get home until after the kids are in bed, that can be a sign that they do not want to be home and that their attention is elsewhere.

Or, they become so invested in spending time on their hobbies or friends to the extent that they are neglecting their time with their spouse and/or their children.

People can choose to withdraw themselves from a marriage by both avoidance and their physical absence.  If this is your situation, it may be time to get divorced.


Physical violence

Once things are at the point where conflicts escalate to physical violence, that is a good sign that it is time to get divorced.

Everyone has the right to physical safety as a basic need, especially in their own home, and if that cannot be guaranteed in your marriage then the marriage is not a healthy one.

If you and/or your spouse think it is a good idea to resolve marital conflicts with violence, it is probably best for both of you to go your separate ways with a divorce, not only because of the physical and mental risk of harm, but also because of the risk of legal repercussions.

To some of us, it may seem extremely obvious that physical violence is a sign that it is time to get divorced.

However, there are a multitude of reasons that people do not leave violent situations.  They may be financially dependent on the perpetrator or afraid to leave.

Many people have grown up in homes where violence is a regular occurrence, so when violence occurs in their relationship, it may not be obvious to them that it is time to get divorced because violence was so normalized in their family of origin.

Most importantly, if you have children, you have to consider what kind of relationships you are modeling for them.  If your children are growing up with the lesson that love and violence go hand in hand, then it is time to go your separate ways and file for divorce.


Your therapist or marriage counselor tells you to get out

Most therapists or marriage counselors want to give their clients the tools and coping mechanisms to solve their problems and find their path toward a happy and fulfilling life.  They are not there to tell you what to do.

If your therapist tells you it is time to get divorced for your well-being, you should seriously consider their concerns.

A marriage counselor sees both spouses and is there to try and help the spouses mend their relationship and save their marriage.

If a marriage counselor takes you aside and tells you it would be in your best interests to end the relationship, that can be a really strong sign that it is time to file for divorce.


Author: Alison Herlihy

Family law attorney Alison Herlihy is a native of Mobile, Alabama. Alison has engaged in the private practice of family law since 2005, focusing primarily on domestic relations, divorce and child support, child custody law, adoption law, juvenile, probate practice, and wills.

Alison Baxter Herlihy earned the prestigious AV Preeminent peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which recognizes attorneys for the highest levels of legal ability and professional ethical standards. Alison is a certified Guardian Ad Litem. In 2015, Alison became a Registered Mediator on the Alabama State Court Mediator Roster, in both general and domestic relations mediation.