How To Deal With Work While Going Through A Divorce

There is every chance that you’ve never needed the financial security of a job more than while you are going through a divorce. You are facing an uncertain future, yet you need to remain focused on work. That can truly be a struggle.

Whether amicable or contentious, divorce is difficult. It is challenging to see your entire life upended while simultaneously continuing to work at your usually efficient level. However, if handled properly, you can keep your personal trauma from crashing into your professional life:

Take Some Time Off

As soon as you realize that divorce is inevitable, you are confronting a new and harsh reality. This would be a good time to use some vacation days and just get away from life’s daily demands – like work.

Some free time to put your thoughts in perspective and develop a plan for the future can prevent you from becoming overwhelmed. If the divorce came as a shock and surprise, thousands of questions will be racing through your mind. Give yourself time to deal without having to worry about meetings, clients, and deadlines.

Consider this time “you” time and focus on self-care. Listen to some favorite music. Get some exercise. Indulge yourself in a bubble bath or manicure – whatever has the power to lift your spirits. Now would be an excellent time to begin eating healthier and exercising more.

A few days of self-care will help you return to the office better prepared to tackle the nine to five challenges. Understand that with all that is at stake in the divorce, the job is yours, and no one can take this away from you. It’s a good idea to continue to self-care for a while. Take a few breaks away from your desk, recoup, and resume your day.

Talk To Anyone At The Office With Whom You Have Close Dealings

“Bad days” at work during this time probably are unavoidable. Explain as much of your situation to your boss as you feel comfortable. He or she should be aware that you are going through a rough period in your life and that your work may not be up to par each day. Discuss that you may need a few hours or days off for court sessions or meetings with your attorney. If you have an understanding supervisor, he or she will have your back. Unless your supervisor knows about your situation, he or she cannot offer the support you may need during truly messy days. In addition, many larger companies have employee assistance programs that can offer some emotional help and guidance.

If wouldn’t hurt to confide in a co-worker whom you feel close to. Chances are that your co-workers will notice that your mood is just a bit “off.” If you feel comfortable, explain the reason to one or two of them. Having someone at the office for an occasional private venting session can be helpful in getting you back on track.

Consider The New Possibilities

Your life may be in turmoil, but you are still in control of the situation. Without the responsibilities and constraints of marriage, could this be a good time to go back to school and earn an advanced degree? Or perhaps take a few online classes to broaden your skillset? Your life may be looking down now, but you can use this time to give your career a boost up.

Schedule A Meeting With Human Resources

While you are going through the divorce, chances are you may need more flexible working hours to pick up the children from school or take them places. HR can help you with that. More importantly, the department can provide you with critical IRA, health insurance, and pension information that your divorce attorney will want to review. In addition, you may need to change insurance beneficiaries on certain documents.

Don’t Act Like A Victim

This is indeed a difficult time for you. Your life is changing on the most basic levels, and that includes your professional life. You are likely struggling more financially while attempting to support your children.

Consider this a time to reevaluate your life. Can you move to a place you’ve dreamed about? Are you able to follow a career dream that did not seem possible before? This is not the time to act rashly. Don’t just walk out on your job. However, it is the perfect occasion to explore all of life’s possibilities.

If you enjoy your job, consider the next step up on the success ladder. What do you need to get a promotion or a raise? Can your career flourish in another department? You may be facing a divorce, but you are also facing possibilities for career improvement and advancement. Don’t overlook the big picture.

Divorcees who turn down financial opportunities such as raises hoping to get more alimony and child support are ultimately making huge mistake. That’s the small picture. Alimony and child support are only temporary. An upwardly mobile career is life-changing.


With a bit of planning, you can handle both a divorce and your job. In reality, this may be the ideal time to “upgrade” your work situation and move on to better things both personally and professionally.

The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.

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