How to Negotiate House Rules During COVID-19 With Your Soon-to-Be Ex
Were you in the midst of contemplating divorce when COVID-19 hit? If so, then you may find yourself stuck at home with someone who's difficult to get along with.
Fortunately, it's possible to negotiate house rules that will see you through the crisis. Doing so may show you that divorce can be more amicable and productive than you might have imagined.
Sit down to negotiate house rules with your spouse. A little straight talk can go a long way toward cutting down on angst and disagreements. Consider discussing ideas for some basic ground rules by which everyone in your home will need to abide.
This can also work for families where the parents are already living separate and apart and there is a parenting, visitation and access plan in place to ensure that both households are practicing the same or similar safety measures to protect themselves, the children and all occupants of both households.
Start with defining the purpose and goal of the ground rules. For instance, to keep the family safe, minimize any possible exposure to the Coronavirus, clarity, and agreement of what we feel are the safety precautions that are necessary and reasonable given all of the information that we know.
Examples of these rules include:
-Leaving the house only for groceries and doctor appointments
-Not allowing anyone outside of your household into the house
-Walks with people outside of your household are not allowed
-Refrain from going into other peoples' homes
Taking precautions a bit further, consider providing face masks and gloves to anyone in the household who leaves the home, deciding whether to remove shoes and change all or only certain garments of clothing and whether to shower immediately after returning to the home after grocery shopping or running other essential errands. Another sensible measure may include establishing a daily cleaning checklist and dividing chores such that each spouse will perform the chores on alternate days.
The ideas in this blog article are merely suggestions and you and your partner will likely have different opinions on the extent of the ground rules that you both establish together. Look at the CDC guidelines, talk with extended family and friends and find out what other families are doing. It is important that you both work together and develop terms that you both can agree upon and live with. Remember, you are in this together. So, if either of you balks at any of the suggestions and other restrictions that either of you proposes, you will want to focus on the fact that you are each heavily dependent upon each other in this situation and safety is paramount. Your movements and behavior may be restricted for a few weeks or months, but it is only with the goal of deriving the most benefit not only for your family but also for all of society.
A spouse who puts his or her foot down and refuses to abide by the new house rules may need to look for somewhere else to live. Alternatively, you may want to seek out a new spot in which to shelter in place if that's possible. If not, then it's wise to separate yourself from your spouse by sealing yourself up in your room and coming out at designated times for necessary purposes.
If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are butting heads during the quarantine, then perhaps it's time to arrange for a conflict resolution virtual session with a legal professional from Sabra Law Group. This service is available to couples and families who are seeking creative solutions to challenging problems.
Call Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971 to speak with a legal professional about conflict resolution, divorce mediation, and other related family law matters.