3 Tips for Cohabitating and Co-Parenting on Verge of Divorce
Covid-19 has created a situation where some couples are forced to cohabitate and co-parent despite being on the verge of separation or divorce.
This is a difficult dance. Some have been doing it for months. Many of these individuals are experiencing intense anger and frustration.
New York University psychiatrist and child specialist, Anthony Charuvastra, MD, has published some excellent advice on co-parenting for divorcing couples confined to the same home.
Before getting into his tips, Charuvastra emphasizes that children—as well as adults—need a place where they can feel safe during a crisis such as the pandemic. This is the goal for couples experiencing this challenge. His advice is practical and useful.
Tip #1: Create a routine within the home that allows the two parents to stay out of each other’s way to the greatest extent possible. This means figuring out exactly who does what when. Establishing such a routine will minimize miscommunication and conflict.
This prescriptive routine will also help limit children seeing their parents argue.
Tip #2: Shield children from the brunt of the conflict by arguing where they won’t see you. Charuvastra encourages parents to argue in the basement, garage, or backyard—away from the main living areas.
Another strategy is for parents to take a walk while they discuss issues between them.
Tip #3: Be patient.
Many parents on the verge of separation or divorce feel the urgent need to move on with life. Like almost everything else, the pandemic interrupts this. “Try to remind yourself that as bad as this crisis is, regular life will resume at some point, and you will get back on track with making necessary and important life changes,” the psychiatrist advises.
I have served as a divorce lawyer for the past 25 years. If you are a Maryland or Washington, DC resident contemplating separation or divorce, contact me for a no-obligation consultation to discuss doing so. If you choose to move forward, we can conduct our meetings remotely and discreetly or safely in person.
Lloyd Malech is a family law attorney with The Law Offices of Lloyd A. Malech in Bethesda, Maryland