Surviving Stay At Home Order With Your Soon To Be Ex
April 3, 2020 | Divorce, Parenting (Child Custody)
Governor Pritzker’s order for Illinois residents to stay at home to stop the spread of COVID-19 is two weeks old and will be in place until April 30, 2020, at the earliest. Staying home may be repetitive, boring, and, at times, frustrating. It may seem like we are starring in our own Groundhog Day. But as we stay at home to protect our collective health, we need to make sure our homes are healthy and safe environments for everyone living in them.
This is especially true for divorcing spouses currently living together. In normal times, divorcing spouses who live together face many challenges and difficulties. Tempers run high and conflict is inevitable. Children who live in the house are adversely impacted by their parents’ conflict. Now, more than ever, divorcing spouses living together need to control their emotions and ride out the stay at home order as calmly and orderly as possible.
Even though the courts have scaled back their operations significantly, they are open for emergency matters. Therefore, if things get dangerous at home, Petitions for Emergency Orders of Protection or Emergency Exclusive Possession of the residence will be heard without delay.
In order to limit the hostility in the house, here are a few tips:
Develop a Routine with your Spouse
Being taken by surprise can trigger conflict, so develop routines to minimize surprise. We know we are going to be stuck at home for another month and after two weeks we have a good idea what it is going to be like. Allocate household responsibilities, such as preparing meals on certain days, going to the grocery store, cleaning the house, etc. Routines are good for our health.
Occupy different parts of the home and limit interactions with one another. Respect each other’s space.
Anticipate Interactions and How to Start and End them Peacefully
Before you are going to interact with your soon to be ex, know what you are going to say to start it off on the right note. If things turn badly, have a subject changer or an exit strategy ready.
Avoid Contentious Divorce Topics
There is too much uncertainty in the world right now. Making headway on contested divorce issues under these circumstances is unlikely.
Find Common Ground
Discuss topics on which you agree and avoid everything else.
Leave the House
Being stuck inside all day is not good for mental health so go outside for a walk to clear your mind and recharge. If you find yourself in a conversation that is trending towards argument, leave the house.
The Botti Law Firm, P.C. has been practicing family law in Chicagoland for 50 years. Please contact us at (630)573-8585 to schedule a free phone or video consultation with one of our attorneys.