Crisis Compounded: Dealing with Divorce During Coronavirus Epidemic

There’s no question that the coronavirus pandemic has made some of the simplest tasks—grocery shopping, to name one—a complicated endeavor. We track everything from the shoes we wear to our hand sanitizer supply. Trying to remember if we used a sanitary wipe when we opened the mailbox. We’re reduced, in many ways, with worrying about the tiniest details to prevent disaster.

But what happens when those details throw you into challenging situations with your ex?

Quarantined with Your Ex

It seems like an impossibility, but it’s more common than you think. Maybe you live in a city with a tight or expensive housing market. Maybe you’ve done the “kids live in one place, adults change houses” shared custody setup. Maybe you were simply both exposed to the coronavirus at the same time and don’t want to spread to new roommates. For many reasons, it’s not impossible to find yourself in an uncomfortable situation: being in quarantine with your ex.

The key here is to find space however you can. Leading up to your split, you’ve likely become experts at pressing each other’s buttons or noticing annoying tics. Techniques like meditation, exercise, listening to music or throwing yourself into helping the kids with their school work can help keep the focus off the broken relationship. Try to go easy on yourself—and your ex. This is a temporary situation that will end and you’ll want to feel good about yourself when it’s over.

Panic-Dialing Your Ex

At high-anxiety times, we may be tempted to reach out to those closest to us—or those who used to be close to us—for comfort and support. We may feel lonely or sentimental. We may remember old times with more fondness when we’re confronted with loneliness and the prospect of facing illness and, yes, mortality, alone. This makes a midnight text that revisits romances past all the more tempting. But crossing that line, especially during the process of divorcing, may be a huge mistake. Not only do you risk re-opening old romantic wounds, but you risk weakening, or a the very least confusing and obscuring your case.

Kids Quarantined Out of State

If your ex lives out of state, it’s possible your children may need to be quarantined out of state. If that’s the case, you should document everything to track the amount of time that’s going exclusively to your ex. Many people are facing the reality of virtual parenting—even if they’re quarantined in the next room. Frequent FaceTime visits and open communication with your ex is the best route to keeping children feeling secure in a world of uncertainty.

If you’re considering divorce but would like to try an approach that might mean a brighter future, call my team to schedule a confidential consultation.