It can be difficult living together in the same house when you are getting divorced, or planning to separate: however, it is not impossible but will require you both to discuss a plan in order to address challenges and obstacles that may arise during this time.
- Define your own space: Designate exclusive and shared areas in your home, including sleeping arrangements; Decide how you are going to share areas: such as bathrooms and kitchen; Identify a place to go in order to get some privacy; think about whether you are still going to eat meals together;
- Identify household responsibilities: such as cleaning, cooking, laundry and shopping;
- Structure your day: Schedule your time during the day and ensure that you allocate time for:-
- Exercise: whether this is a short walk, run or participating in an online exercise class,
- Working, if that remains possible;
- Providing childcare;
- Socialising: via online platforms such as What’s App; Skype and Zoom;
- Undertaking household duties, and
- Personal time
- Allocate parenting duties: Plan how you are going to share the child care so that you each take responsibility; Schedule the time that you will be looking after the children on a joint calendar: Advance planning will help to reduce the likelihood of battles over who is in charge; Plan what you are going to tell the children about the arrangements, and share ideas about how to keep them occupied;
- Work out financial issues: Whilst it may be difficult, it is not impossible to discuss how to budget for ongoing expenses: Try not to make unilateral decisions about financial matters. It is also a good opportunity to sort out your paperwork, and collate financial information;
- Don’t engage in conflict: try hard to communicate with each other in a respectful and business-like fashion; pause and think before you speak; Try and keep communication brief and to the point. If you have children, remember that you are their role models. If you need to get things off your chest, try keeping a diary or speaking to a friend;
- Look after yourself: Schedule time to do something that you enjoy: have a virtual coffee with a friend; go for a walk; watch a movie, try an online exercise class; learn a new skill: there are plenty of online options;
- Seek professional help: If you are feeling overwhelmed, or finding it impossible to make mutually acceptable arrangements, seek professional advice from a family therapist or family mediator, many of whom are offering online consultations.
For further information or help please contact: Rebekah Gershuny at Evolve Family Mediation by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01923 909343.
Photo by Xavier Mouton Photographie on Unsplash