Ask Leslie: Divorce, Cohabiting, and the Coronavirus. Help!

divorce_coronavirus_cohabiting

DEAR LESLIE, 

I am divorcing my husband of 15 years plus. Just before the coronavirus struck, we were able to file for a divorce, however, we still live under the same roof – a reality I have yet to adjust to. Please share your advice.

– Breaking point

Breaking point…

Here are my tips for navigating the coronavirus, divorce and cohabiting.

Keep your distance while living in the same house.

This may be somewhat impossible, but for your health and mental well-being, it is absolutely necessary. If you and your spouse are already in the midst of a divorce and still under the same roof, then this is an excellent time to practice at home social distancing. Under these circumstances, you may already be living in separate rooms, which is good. You may also need to set up a kitchen/laundry schedule to maintain at least 6 feet apart for your health and to ease rising tensions. Use common sense and don’t sweat the small stuff. This, too, shall pass.

 

Parenting together during a pandemic.

This may be incredibly difficult if you and your spouse (and/or soon to be ex) are not able to set aside your differences in light of the extraordinary circumstances. Your children need to feel safe and secure during this time, and it up to you the parents to make that happen. There are no excuses here.

 

Keeping the Peace

Living together with someone you no longer want to be with can be very stressful for everyone. In times like these taking a pause and counting to 10 (a lot) can help diffuse many situations. Otherwise, you will find yourself in a place where you both blow up at each other, causing high anxiety, fighting, and discomfort you can’t get away from. Cease and desist and keep the peace. 

 

Most courts are closed for business as usual.

As the entire country is working to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the court systems have also made some temporary changes that could affect your matrimonial matter. 

Contact your local courts via their website, which will have the information you are looking for, or if you have an attorney, e-mail, or call them to get answers to your questions. 

 

Do something good for yourself every day.

Going through a divorce or separation is stressful enough, add in today’s circumstances, and you may find yourself more anxious than usual if you can exercise each day. Walk or run outside, put on music and dance in your own space, do yoga or meditate, if you like to bicycle, go for a ride. This will keep you in a good mental state, and your body will thank you too.

 

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