CORONAVIRUS QUARANTINE SURVIVAL GUIDE
At White Oak Legal we created this guide to give you strategies to help you cope with Quarantine. Cohabitation with anyone right now is difficult, but if you’re considering Divorce it can be downright disastrous. However, there are steps you can take now to not only keep the situation as civil as possible, but also pave the way for a cleaner and simpler divorce once this is all over.
Here are our 5 Survival Tips!
1. Keep It Calm, Cool, and Collected
If you are considering divorce then there may be a bit of bad blood between you and your spouse. It is extremely difficult to be gracious to an obstinate spouse, but do your best not to let the situation devolve into nastiness and vindictiveness. Your actions now will set the tone of your Divorce down the road.
Avoid rash decision making that will hurt your case during divorce proceedings. Don’t disappear with the kids, don’t make large business decisions if either you or your spouse own a business, as that business may be considered marital property, and don’t damage you or your spouse’s property. No matter how angry and frustrated you are, you have to think ahead, and about the legal side of things. What you do now may affect you later. If you have any questions regarding what you can do now to help your case, contact us and we would be happy to help you work through it.
You can try to make things smoother between you and your spouse by structuring time in common areas so that you are not on top of each other all the time. If you are working from home, try to set up your work spaces separately. This works best if both parties agree, but if your spouse refuses to work with you, try to create your own structure and stick to it. Even though it may seem impossible, try as hard as you can to stay respectful and conscientious both during the quarantine and moving forward.
2. Have a Plan
Regardless of if you have already decided to Divorce or are still considering it, (food for thought if you are the latter… Knowing When it is Time for a Divorce), you need to have a plan. The best way to make a plan is to talk to a Divorce lawyer. They are familiar with the process and can guide you on what to do and not do as things move forward.
Decide when and if you want to talk to your spouse about Divorce now, or if you want to wait until you are not in such confined spaces. Start documenting anything that might be useful during Divorce proceedings (information on your assets and debts, proof of infidelity, abuse, waste of marital assets, etc.)
Divorce can get messy and the messier it gets the more expensive it becomes. At White Oak Legal we like to keep Divorce as simplified as possible. Having a plan and getting legal advice sooner rather than later can not only help the Divorce go smoother, but it can save you thousands of dollars.
3. Find Your Outlets
Find as many outlets as you can: go for a walk, put headphones in and FaceTime a friend, workout, shower, meditate, call another friend, get into a new subject (bird watching, WWII, strophysics, Greek mythology), and take another shower. Really, anything non-destructive will do. Play a round of Uno with your kids. Do anything you can to redirect your frustration and anger about the current circumstances and your spouse – no matter how well deserved – and send that energy in a different direction. It might feel like a small band-aid on a very large wound, but this is about survival. Which brings us to another point…
4. This is Not Forever
Regardless of whether you went into quarantine knowing you wanted a Divorce or if the forced quarantine made it clear to you that Divorce was the only viable way forward, keep in mind that your current situation is not permanent. Covid-19 will pass, the quarantine will end, and you will be able to separate from your spouse if that is what you choose.
When things get to be too much, remember you do have options. Use one of your outlets, focus on your Divorce plan, breathe, and try to keep in mind that this is temporary. Think about what you want your life to look like after the divorce (read… Life After Divorce: It Gets Better). Do whatever you can to stay centered and remember, how you act now sets the tone for how things will go in the future. Think before you act and be as kind and gracious to yourself as possible. These are not normal times.
If you have any questions about Divorce or what you can do now to simplify things down the road, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Everything else aside, safety is absolutely paramount. There are reports that domestic abuse of spouses and children is on the rise. Regardless of whether you and your spouse have already decided on Divorce or if you are still on the fence about moving forward, safety has to come first. Being trapped in a house with an abuser is potentially the most dangerous situation there is and there is help available to you.
Abuse can come in different forms: gaslighting, financial control, degrading comments and/or emotional manipulation. If the relationship has devolved into something that is physically or emotionally abusive, you can contact the Domestic Abuse Hotline (1-800-799-7233) for information on shelters and protective measures, reach out to White Oak Legal for guidance on what you can do, or call 911.
Even though we’re in the middle of a pandemic you do NOT need to stay in an abusive situation. There is help out there, you just need to reach out.
What do I do now?
This is just the beginning, but you’ve taken the first step: Education. We know you may be overwhelmed, but together we will develop a plan that fits your situation, and addresses your specific concerns.
Do you have more questions? Call now to schedule a consultation, or click here to schedule a consultation online.
If you prefer to read more about Divorce simply click here.