Relationship breakdowns are never easy. In light of the current global pandemic, a relationship breakdown during coronavirus just got even tougher.
Our family lawyers in Perth at Hickman Family Lawyers have put together our best tips on how to cope with a relationship breakdown during coronavirus.
Make Notes & Get Organised
Even if you continue living with your ex after your relationship breakdown, you can still officially be separated. Make sure that you note your separation date somewhere, as you need to be separated for at least 1 year before you can legally divorce. Further, if you are in a de facto relationship. your separation date is equally important.
To prove your separation, you can start to split your financial affairs. You may want to start using separate bank accounts instead of a joint one. Work out who’s going to pay which bills and how you’re going to run a household now that you’re no longer a couple.
A good place to start is by making a spreadsheet of all your assets, debts, income and expenditure at the date of your separation. This will be really helpful later on in the divorce process too.
Define Your Short Term & Long Term Plan
Know that the current situation regarding coronavirus is not going to last forever. We might not know exactly how and when the movement, work and school restrictions will be lifted but, it will end eventually.
It’s a good idea to form not only a long term plan but a short term plan as well.
If you can, discuss the future with your ex. Try to come to a mutual agreement on the best way forward for both of you, and your children if you have any.
If you’re finding it difficult to come to a mutual understanding, a family law mediation session could be a good option to start with when it comes to your divorce. We can offer these sessions virtually, via video conferencing, so that you don’t have to go out. However, it may be a good idea for you to be in separate rooms through the mediation. Our experienced mediator can discuss these options with you.
Be Kind To Yourself
Remember to be kind to yourself. You’re likely going to experience a lot of ups and downs emotionally – and that’s completely OK.
Don’t beat yourself up if you’re having a bad day and it feels like nothing is going your way. Breathe, relax, and start again tomorrow.
Show yourself some compassion and it will help make the process of separation and divorce that little bit easier on you and your children.
Seek Virtual Support
When many people get divorced, they seek out the support of their friends and family.
Before coronavirus, you may have met your bestie for a coffee or popped round to see your mum for a big hug and some wise words.
These days, those just aren’t viable options any more.
Instead, look for support from your family and friends virtually. Video chat via FaceTime, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are all great ways to see your loved ones and feel less disconnected. Even a group chat with your besties on Zoom is better than not seeing them at all.
Check in with those closest to you by video or phone call, text, or email as often as you need to.
Get Some Exercise Online
If you’re used to going to the gym or attending group exercise classes, you might be struggling with not being able to attend these. As we know, exercise is so good for your mental health and wellbeing, so don’t abandon this completely after your relationship breakdown.
Go for a walk, run or bike ride around your suburb each day (adhering to all social distancing rules of course).
Many fitness coaches are offering virtual online exercise classes; some are paid but lots are free too.
The Nike Training Club app has made its premium subscription free during coronavirus.
Joe Wickes The Body Coach is doing online PE classes for kids while schools in the UK are closed (don’t be fooled, these are challenging and fun for adults too!).
Celebrity personal trainer Sam Wood is doing free live home workouts on his Facebook page Monday to Friday at 9am AEST.
So no excuses!
If you’re struggling in the aftermath of a relationship breakdown during coronavirus, and don’t know where to start, a free 15-minute phone consultation with one of our trusted family lawyers is a good option.
From there, if you would like more detailed advice, we can also arrange an hour long initial consultation for you to speak with us. This can be done over the phone. And, due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have temporarily reduced the price of our initial consultation.