Coping with Divorce and Separation During the COVID-19 Outbreak
All Divorce lawyers know that the peak time for divorces start just after Christmas and rise again in the summer holidays when families have a prolonged period of exposure to each other. Where some people love being with their partner 24/7, others suddenly find that unresolved issues and tensions are high and they start to re evaluate their life without their partner.
So what can you do when you’re quarantined with someone you would much rather be without?
1. Have your own space.
Try and stay out of each others way as much as possible. If you’re both working from home, agree on a space for each other where you will not be disturbed and if you want to eat your meals separately then agree times for using the kitchen.
2. Walk Away
Especially if there are also childreni n the house. This is not always easy, especially when you are engaged in a difficult separation or court hearings and there has been a breakdown in trust/communication. However, it is important – particularly if you are living with children. You and your ex-partner may have to rely on each other during these unprecedented times, even if you were struggling to speak to each other last week.
3. Try to find a way to communicate
There are going to be significant practical issues to contend with in the coming weeks and months. Think ahead and raise any shortages/problems that you foresee in advance. Limit conversation to what is needed to resolve the practical issues that arise and get you through the next few weeks.
4. Write it down
If you are feeling frustrated or angry about something that your (ex) partner is doing and that you cannot raise it with them without it causing an argument at home, keep a diary so that you have a record of what has happened.
5. Think about your finances now
You might need to recalculate and speak about liquidating assets to enable you (both – and particularly any children) to survive financially through this difficult time. Taking a pragmatic, constructive approach to this may limit conflict and cost, and if short term cash-flow problems can be resolved, the whole family will benefit.
However, you do need to be cautious about what you are left with after Covid-19.
At this time, the focus should be on being aware of what the potential issues may be, and how to ensure that in the short term your family unit’s needs can be met. Keep an eye on the future position too. The government is offering support (as widely reported in the press) including loans to small businesses, mortgage holidays and assistance to those renting. If you are concerned about your finances, there is help available. Speak to a family lawyer who will be able to offer advice.
6. Where to get help
The court is still operating and urgent hearings are taking place remotely. If you need to speak to someone then click on the link here which will take you to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/
Finally, if you are concerned about your safety or the safety of your children, you should contact the police.
Our Family team is available to assist you with the full range of difficulties that you may be facing at this unprecedented time. You can contact the team here
This article is a general summary and should not replace specific legal advice tailored to your circumstances.