COVID-19, Social Distancing… and Divorce

By Published On: March 23, 2020

For some, spending extra time with a spouse/partner over the days and weeks ahead may be a challenge, but one that can be overcome.  As long as there is some (ok, a lot) of wine. But for others, who are really struggling in their marriage, this extra time together can feel like an unbearable challenge.  If you are going through a divorce, but you are still living with your spouse, here are some tips to help create that much-needed space:

  1. Make a schedule. If you have kids, come up with a schedule for when each parent is the “on parent”—leaving the other parent with a couple of hours to themselves.
  2. Get some exercise. Dust off that exercise equipment at home, take advantage of the many online offerings or go outside for a walk or bike ride.  Exercise will help you stay healthy, clear your mind, and allow you to approach the day’s challenges with grace.
  3. Stay connected. Give yourself some time to connect with friends and family each day. Make a (virtual) appointment with your therapist.  Make sure you have the support you need.
  4. Develop a shared plan. If you have children, have a discussion with your co-parent about how you are going to help your children navigate this crisis, including identifying and communicating new rules and boundaries.  If possible, sit down together with your kids to answer any questions they may have about the changes in their lives.
  5. Be in touch.  Reach out to your attorney. Through remote working capability, you and your lawyer can accomplish a lot to move your case forward.  Although courts in your area may be closed, it is a good time to gather information, get organized, and make progress in negotiated settlement discussions.

Taking the time to re-group and make good, thoughtful decisions will be invaluable in the days ahead. And remember—give yourself a break. Divorce is hard on a good day and this situation is unprecedented. Do the best that you can under the circumstances. And don’t hoard the ice cream.


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