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Help! I’m living with my ex-partner during self-isolation/social distancing | COVID-19

Family Law | Private Client
23 April 2020

It’s not uncommon due to the cost of living in Jersey (particularly house prices), that soon to be separating couples are still living together in the family home. As the www.gov.je are providing updates on a daily basis with guidance for islanders on how to deal with the outbreak of Covid-19, it’s no surprise that separating families will be feeling anxious about the concept of self-isolation or social distancing. Here are our tips for living with your ex-partner during this period.

Social distancing -v- self-isolation

It might be the case that you and your ex-partner are now working from home, as part of your company’s aim to help flatten the curve of the virus (social distancing). However, you may have been advised to self-isolate for a period of 14 days if one or both of you have recently returned to the island (following the update from www.gov.je on 19 March 2020), or you may have come into contact with someone who has tested positive with the virus or has visited an affected area (self-isolation).

If you are unsure of the difference between social distancing and self-isolation, please check this following factsheet for more information.

Whatever the current circumstance is, that you have found yourself in, you will no doubt feel an increased sense of pressure if you are still living with your ex-partner during this time.

Tips for living with your ex-partner during Covid-19

If you are adopting the social-distancing approach, life for you and your ex-partner isn’t as totally restricted as those living in self-isolation. You are still able to get out for walks, go running, visit friends and/or family (noting advice by the government in respect of this) and spend time with your children (following recent news that schools in the island will be closing)!

It’s no doubt an uncertain time for the majority of us islanders, wondering what the next update will be and what impact it may have on us all going forward. In unprecedented times like this, it really is important to live up to the clichés, and be as positive as we can be, whilst working as a team to get through Covid-19. That goes for you and your ex-partner too.

Please note, the following tips are not appropriate for those suffering domestic abuse from your ex-partner. If you require guidance from services please click here for helpline details.

  • If you have children living at home, make the most of spending this time with them. You and your ex-partner could help one another out whilst you are working from home, so you can each still meet your tasks for the day. You can also work together as a team to show your children that you are a united front, particularly during difficult times like this.
  • Use this time to discuss matters between the two of you, for what will happen post-separation. Forward planning is always beneficial. Be constructive in your discussions with your ex-partner, not dismissive.
  • Remember to respect one another’s space. Naturally people are going to be feeling claustrophobic during this time, self-isolation is no doubt going to heighten this feeling.
  • Be mindful and considerate of one other’s worries or concerns during this time. One or both of you may be feeling anxious about workload, vulnerable family members etc.
  • Be mindful of your tone and how you both approach each other during this period. For those who are self-isolating in particular, there is nowhere else you can escape to, therefore you should both work to maintain and amicable and friendly atmosphere within your home.
  • Whatever your differences are, or what has happened in the past between you, set aside your ego’s and remain positive.

Maintaining a positive outlook during times like this, will naturally help ease the tension in your home. It’s exhausting holding grudges, therefore why make what is already a tough period, even harder for you both? Remember that the children’s welfare is most important, have them at the forefront of your mind at all times.

Contact us

For further information and/or guidance our Family Team may be able to help. Please do not hesitate to call 630530 or email us on familylaw@parslowsjersey.com

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