You may not be someone who has ever shared much about your personal life at work. However, if you’re going through a divorce, that’s a major life event. Even if it’s completely amicable and will be mostly handled outside of court, chances are that it will affect your life at work to some degree.
While you don’t need to let everybody know what’s going on, there are some things you should do to minimize the fallout of your divorce on your professional life:
Tell your boss
The last thing you want to do is try to keep this from your boss and have them find out only when your angry ex shows up at your workplace or you need to miss meetings to make a court date.
Your boss doesn’t need to know all the details. Stick to the basics. Reassure them that it won’t affect your work, but you may need to take a few hours or a day off to deal with legal matters, the sale of your home or child care issues.
Notify the HR department
Focus on what they need to know and when. In the early days, this might just involve changing your emergency contact information or your address. Later, it may involve changes in your tax information, insurance and your name.
You’ll need some information from them about your retirement plan since you’ll likely be splitting assets with your spouse. You may need to get other information related to your income to provide in your financial disclosures. You may be able to do all this via email and avoid prying questions.
Keep your divorce out of the workplace
Make a commitment to yourself and your boss not to deal with divorce-related issues at work unless it’s absolutely necessary. That means not taking calls from your soon-to-be-ex and letting emails from your attorney wait until after work if possible.
Most attorneys understand and respect their client’s wishes not to have to make decisions or respond to requests while they’re at work. They know that it takes time away from work and – more importantly – shifts their focus, likely to something unpleasant. Your attorney can help you keep your divorce from affecting your job and your career path at a time when your financial security is more important than ever.