Coping with divorce during the COVID-19 pandemic


By Valerie Keene

Published Jul 21, 2022

Going through a divorce can be very difficult. It can throw your world upside down and make it hard for you emotionally and physically. As if getting divorced isn’t stressful enough, trying to do so during the Covid-19 pandemic may be overwhelming. Things seem stuck, and it is impossible to move forward.

The new reality, in the time of Covid-19, is being isolated in our homes. Being cooped up inside is hard enough for couples that are happily married or cohabiting for those who are in the middle of separation or divorce a several weeks long quarantine might turn out a nightmare.

Couple therapists say that a common coping mechanism during a separation is getting out of the nest, and search for social distraction. Dealing with the emotions of grief and loss is challenging, and can be exhausting. Searching comfort and love in a friend, or counselor, or even family members is a crucial step. Currently, all social distractions are unavailable, and the support network for a divorcee is suspended. The fear of the unknown and the stressful situation can bring serious damage to the life of a divorcing couple.

Shelter in place

Shelter in place orders are bringing daily life as we know it into distant memories. Most families are weeks into social distancing, and while ending a relationship, a home can easily become a pressure cooker for conflicts. Adding the loss of future plans, the intensity, and the stress of the moment can seriously damage the mental and emotional health of a person.

If you are enduring a divorce under quarantine, here are some precious steps you can take to ease the process and the pain.

Step number one: Don’t hesitate, begin to move forward

Contact an attorney to represent you, begin to analyze your finances, and divide your propriety between the two of you. Many attorneys are still offering support, and if you are in speaking terms with your partner, this is the moment to try to reach an agreement without involving the court. With the help and suggestions of your attorney, you can try a mediation, arbitration, or negotiation process.

Dealing with the delay of a court hearing and living in the same house can be emotionally exhausting. During the pandemic, the court can encourage parties to avoid the hearing at all. With legal representatives of both parties, an agreement can be reached about the directions they would like the court to make. A consent order can be submitted to the court for a judge to consider in private.

You can choose your own judge, who will be available for the whole day, and discuss all the papers and issues in dispute remotely until the resolution. Another good option is to proceed an arbitration for financial matters. Until the delayed hearing, a private dispute on financial matters can proceed and come to a resolution. It makes the entire process of divorcing quicker and more cost-effective.

Note: Going through the divorce can be very difficult, and trying to pursue it during the Covid-19 pandemic may easily become overwhelming. The reality is that being sheltered inside is hard for copies tat are happy too. Searching comfort in a friend, or parent is impossible during the pandemic period. Try to put yourself first, be patient, keep your calm, and avoid conflicts.

Step number two: Cohabitate without Drama

While quarantining everyone is affected by a range of stresses, in this particular moment the most important thing is to remain patient and negotiate boundaries before conflicts can escalate. The best way to avoid conflict is to create guidelines for interacting. Negotiate how common rooms will be shared, and how the roommate living will work. Prepare talking points to keep cohabitation peaceful and to reduce any conflict, in particular expressed in front of the children. Be sure to share household responsibilities while you are living in the same home. Divide shores fairly, and plan a time to do them. Be clear about who does what and use a chart to indicate household assignments.

Once you are separated or divorced you don’t have the protection of the couple life anymore, regardless of the positive mindsets, and boundaries, conflict is bounce to arise at some point. Try to listen to others and be direct. Don’t blow up unexpectedly, and try your best to mediate the conflict. Conflicts are bad for your emotional and mental health, so make sure to protect your energy as well. Fell free to try to avoid conflict by going for a short walk, using headphones, and take some time alone.

When the tension is high, is easy to take things personally. It is the worst thing you can do. Please, maintain your calm and don’t over personalize. Over personalize things will bring your conflicts only to escalate. Take a deep breath every time when your partner gets angry or makes inappropriate comments about you. Trust us, it will allow you to make the choices you need.

Step number three: Look forward the future, set up your own space

The truth is that the pandemic won’t last forever. So look forward to the future. Even if you are at the moment sharing a house with your soon-to-be-ex, set up your own space. Move or ask your partner to move into another bedroom. Ensure you have a private location in the house to communicate with your attorney, friends, and family. Your private locations should be only yours, and in them, your partner cannot access it.

Having your own space is vital to surviving a separation during the Covid-19. It should be your place to retreat when you just want to be alone. Even more, ensure that your partner doesn’t have the access to your personal devices; your personal computer, your tablet, or mobile phone, and other accesses, such as your email account. Change your passwords and confirm that your account does not show up on other devices in the house.

After setting up your private space, take time to rediscover who you used to be and what is your new life going to be. Do not tote the heavy baggage of your feelings, as we said, grieving is absolutely normal. Start a new way through your emotions, book a virtual tour, read your favorite book, take a virtual class, or start a healthy activity that you enjoy. Think about your hobby. It is important for you to figure out what is your new life going to look at life and how to start loving and living your new adventure, whatever your marriage experience has been.

Note: While social distancing a home can become a pressure cooker for conflicts. Set up clear rules and roles for all in the household. In addition, the loss of future plans, and the difficult period can represent a challenge for your mental and emotional health. So, do not hesitate to begin taking little steps to move forward. Ensure you have your private space, contact your attorney, research your personal propriety, start inventorying belongings, rediscover yourself, and make the best use of your time at home. Make yourself comfortable and happy in your private locations.

In conclusion, being divorced isn’t the end of your life. Being a divorcee certainly isn’t as you pictured it, but you aren’t the only one in it as well. In Western culture between forty and fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. When a marriage ends, it is certainly far more complex than courtroom battles. On the contrary, there are some positive effects of a divorce that might surprise you. Divorce time isn’t just the time for grieving and emotional distress. It is a period for a business transaction as well.

So invest your free time during the Covid-19 period to cope with the paperwork involved in the process. Reinvent yourself and learn how to leave the emotions out of the settlement, try to pursue your divorce settlement as much as you can. It is also true that a divorce requires plenty of compromise, but if you fear that because of the pandemic you will have to compromise more than you wish, let us reassure you. You are wrong.

A roommate situation can be a solution too, and a clear break can be much harder than the Covid-19 situation. In the end, it inst uncommon that your relationship with your ex might be better than it was when you were married.