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In the Time of Coronavirus: Corona and the Divorced Family

written by Emily Cook, PhD, LCMFT
on Saturday, 4th April ,2020


Social distancing in a divorced family can be complicated. When kids are required to travel back and forth between parents’ houses, additional infection risks can increase. The disruption of regular schedules with school closures and changes in parent work locations requires additional communication between co-parents. Here are a few tips for communication with your co-parent while managing social distance:

Remember that emotional intensity is ratcheted up: what was mildly annoying before is now irritating, and what was irritating before may now feel intolerable. Take responsibility for your own reactivity and, the best you can, give your co-parent some grace. We’re all doing our best to navigate a difficult situation.

When sharing a concern with your co-parent, perhaps about how they’re keeping social distance, keep your tone neutral and focus on the present and immediate future. Working collaboratively is difficult for many divorced spouses; using the common ground of safety, health, and low-risk of infection spread, will help focus your problem-solving.

Be intentional with your time, both when you’re taking care of the children and when you’re not. Prioritize self-care, virtual social time with friends, and quality time with your kids. Remember that while this may be a longer season than we thought, it is a season that will someday pass.

Tags: COVID-19 and Relationships, Family relationships in Coronavirus, Coronavirus mental health, COVID-19 and Mental Health

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