An “Early Warning and Prevention Notice” is a way to make it clear to your spouse that the marriage has serious problems that are leading towards divorce, and it tells both spouses how to find marriage skills education and counseling. People considering separation often are very disappointed to learn that they cannot use the legal system to get their spouse to change certain behaviors unless they initiate a separation or file for divorce, which would usually destroy the marriage they are trying to save.
Men and women have great reserves of energy and will to work on their marriage, but they are often bad at communicating to each other that there are truly serious problems in the marriage. Professionals working with couples have noted that typically wives will spend years trying everything they know, and finally give up on the marriage, long before husbands recognize that there is a serious problem. After the wife stops talking and DOES something, such as moving out or filing for divorce, the husband finally realizes there is a problem and becomes as desperate to repair the marriage as the wife was several years earlier. (Weiner-Davis (2001), The Divorce Remedy, Simon & Schuster, pp. 39-40.) The law is often a blunt instrument in personal affairs, but one thing it is good at is giving people commonly accepted ways to “give notice” of important things to each other. This Notice gives couples a common language to warn each other when they think the marriage is in danger, and begin working to repair it before it is too late.
If you have used one of these notices or letters, or something similar, please tell us about it by posting a comment on this site. The comment may not show up on the site, but we will still be very interested in your experiences and insights.