How to manage a covidivorce whilst living under the same roof


22nd May 2020

As we continue to live through unprecedented times with lockdown restrictions still in place, tensions are rising in some households where separating or divorcing couples are being forced to isolate together.

This has resulted in a new phrase being coined, ‘covidivorce’. The coronavirus pandemic has put additional stress on separating couples with the pressure of home-schooling, working-from-home anxiety, finance worries, juggling house-hold chores and having minimal outside human contact.

What are the best ways of keeping stress levels to a minimum during a pandemic whilst in the midst of a covidivorce?

  1. Seek advice

Whether you are considering divorce proceedings or you have initiated them, take advice from a family divorce specialist as soon as possible.

A divorce lawyer will be able to provide you with guidance on the law, information on the divorce process, any challenges you might face and a plan moving forward. We are able to offer virtual consultations or telephone appointments at your convenience.

  1. Prioritise your children

Parents have an important role to play to ensure a child’s mental health is not adversely affected by their parents’ covidivorce. Try not to argue in front of your children if at all possible. It is important for separating couples to remain polite and ensure that there is a good level of communication for co-parenting to work effectively.

Do not send harshly worded correspondence to an ex-partner or spouse as the Court may scrutinise this later. Text messages sent in the heat of the moment can look completely inappropriate months later in the cold light of a courtroom.

  1. Do not struggle alone

Separation and divorce can be an incredibly isolating time in your life, especially during a global pandemic, and it is important to seek the support required from skilled professionals. This could be in the form of counselling, speaking to a family divorce specialist, a life coach or a charity specialising in family law such as Family Lives or Gingerbread Group.

  1. Be open-minded

It is a particularly difficult time for couples who are in the middle of Court proceedings as many hearings are being adjourned. Increasingly, and often for very good reasons, separating couples are favouring other options such as mediation, collaborative law and arbitration.

It is possible for these alternative dispute resolution methods to provide you with a negotiated outcome that both parties are happy with and settling the case will save you both time and money in the long run.

  1. Alternative accommodation during a covidivorce

Although services such as Airbnb and hotels are not an option at present, the Government has announced that estate agents can reopen their doors and offer viewings. If rental property is a possibility in your circumstances but you are feeling anxious about viewing at this challenging time, many estate agents are still offering virtual viewings by appointment.

There are plenty of options to support you through these difficult times, so there is no need to feel that you are alone.

If you are struggling to progress a covidivorce, please do contact a specialist in our team for advice and reassurance.

This article has been co-written by Jessica Howard and Simon Burge.

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