Being confined to a particular place for an extended period with anyone can be difficult. How much harder is it therefore if you are in the middle of a divorce?
Divorcing couples living under the same roof during Coronavirus
It is not uncommon for couples to remain under the same roof while dealing with the process of separation and divorce often for financial reasons. However, this can be extremely difficult and stressful for both parties and often the advice is to spend time away from home as much as possible to avoid conflict and increased tension. The current government advice regarding staying at home save for very limited exceptions is going to add considerably more strain to such scenarios.
Divorcing couples should create boundaries in the home whilst under coronavirus lockdown
It is very important therefore that where possible boundaries are set up now. It may sound drastic but agreeing specific times for each party to use specific rooms such as the kitchen or bathroom can really help to avoid arguments and maintain the separation. Interestingly this is an often used tactic of the court on applications to exclude someone from a property due to risk of harm and there is no alterative property for the other party to go to. It may also be sensible to discuss a shopping rota so that you are not buying the same things and you can each provide the other with a list.
What is important for divorcing couples living together during the COVID-19 situation?
Coupled with the above is the importance of trying to maintain a daily schedule as far as possible. I have been advising clients to create order and routine whether they can including preparing something fresh and heathy for lunch and taking time out to eat it. Also exercising once a day (which can be outside the home as per the government guidelines) is another necessity for good mental health. If you are fortunate enough to have a garden then even just a stroll around the garden with a cup of tea can do wonders for your mind. All of these actions can help maintain a sense of normality and better enable you to tackle any thorny issues that arise and also deal with being cooped up with the last person you want to be indoors with.
Try and remember that everything is subjective and everyone has their own relative view point. Trying to focus your language on how someone’s actions affect you rather than making an accusation can often help to avoid an escalation in arguments as it encourages the other person to look at how something makes you feel. For example, focus on saying “when you do that It makes me feel anxious”. Patience and trying to step back from arguments and pinch points is essential right now if you are going to find a way through this.
We have a dedicated team of experienced family lawyers who can guide you through this difficult time and help you see a brighter future. Please note that we are also able to offer video conferencing.