How Can Divorce Affect You at Work?
Divorce can impact many areas of your life, including your professional life. Here are some of the ways that divorce may potentially impact you in your workplace.
- Workplace reputation. Divorcing couples may not face as much stigmatization as couples of previous generations; however, they can still face some judgment and social stigmas. While divorce mediation records are entirely confidential, court records are not. If you and your partner handle your divorce in court, third parties can gain access to your divorce records. Private details concerning your children, finances, and allegations made (i.e. domestic violence, substance abuse, infidelity, etc.) can be included in these records. While your boss, a co-worker, competitor, or journalist may not attend court, they can still request copies of your records or court transcripts, which can lead you vulnerable to professional embarrassment.
- Work schedule. You will need to attend divorce proceedings or mediation sessions during your divorce, which can affect your availability at work. You may need to change shifts, leave earlier than usual, or take time off. If you have children, your schedule could also be affected if you share custody and have to accommodate a new time-sharing plan.
- Productivity. Getting divorced can be emotionally and mentally draining. You may be worried about your living or financial situation, the future, or upcoming court or mediation dates. These concerns may lead to you being distracted, irritable, or less efficient. Stress can also affect your decision-making, ability to focus, and more.
Should I Tell My Boss I’m Getting Divorced?
As we mentioned, you will need to attend court dates or mediation sessions, and you may need to explain why you are missing work, requesting a schedule change, or requesting certain accommodations be made. While discussing your divorce at work or at all can be challenging or awkward, you can have this conversation while maintaining a sense of professionalism. Here are some tips to help you navigate telling your employer or boss about your divorce.
- Avoid oversharing. The details of your divorce are personal, and you shouldn’t feel obligated to share every detail of the divorce. Why you (or your spouse) filed, who is keeping the house, and other specifics are not relevant to your work or career. Thus, you should try to keep the conversation more professional rather than personal.
- Do not blame your work performance on the divorce. Getting divorced can be mentally and emotionally draining. However, you should not use your divorce as a reason why you are not performing at work. While your boss may offer additional support or remind you of resources available to you, you shouldn’t expect to be excused from completing your job duties.
- Be honest about the upcoming process. This conversation should focus on updating your boss on how your divorce may impact you at work. For instance, you may have important appointments with your attorney, mediator, or the court that require time off. You may also need more flexible hours or deadlines on certain projects. Be honest about what your needs are and what your boss should anticipate during this time.
- Ask about the HR department’s information updating process. During or after your divorce, you will likely need to update certain information, including your bank information (for paychecks), healthcare plan and tax data, and contact information. You can ask your boss what the process is for updating this information.
Have More Questions? Consult with Our Experienced Attorneys.
To better understand the impact your divorce can have on your career and other aspects of your life, you should consult with the attorneys at The Neshanian Law Firm, Inc. Once you retain our services, our firm can address your concerns and help you protect your interests. Whether you need help with divorce mediation, legal separation, property division, or another divorce-related matter, we are here and equipped to offer you sound legal counsel.
To schedule a consultation or learn more about our services, contact our firm online or via (949) 577-7935.