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Addressing Your Divorce at Work

When we get divorced, the process can impact many aspects of our lives outside of the home and the relationship. We’re obviously going to need to address the situation with family and close friends as lifestyle changes come with being single again in adulthood, but what about the workplace?

You might not need to talk about your divorce with the person in the cubicle next to you, but your HR department and your boss may need to know depending on the circumstances. It’s important to remain professional and understand you don’t need to divulge more information than you feel comfortable with. It’s a personal event unrelated directly to your work (unless you’re getting a divorce from someone you work with/for).

We want to help you with those conversations and go through how your situation could impact the type of information you need to provide and receive.

Be honest

One of the most important things you can do is to be honest with your boss and HR department. This doesn't mean you need to tell them everything. In fact, you can keep the information very limited.

Whatever you choose to share should be the truth, as your boss will need to understand your circumstances. Be honest if you believe your divorce could impact your production in the office. A good boss will be understanding and supportive during this time. You should still strive to do your best and keep your work at the level of expectations given to you, but it’s okay if your mind is occasionally elsewhere. If you feel like your boss is failing in their duty to provide you with a safe and productive workspace then you should talk to HR.

If you have children to care for, you should also inform your workplace of those home life changes. It could be pertinent to them if you frequently travel or have an odd schedule that may need to be altered to ensure you’re available for your children. There’s no guarantee your work can accommodate this, however, so another job could be an option.

Alert of any impacts on the office

Some divorces can get ugly. If you believe there’s a chance your ex could attempt to contact you at work and put you or others in danger, you should make sure your HR department, your boss, and any office security staff are aware of the situation. The right people should take steps to mitigate any risks to you and your coworkers.

This also applies if you believe you’re going to be served court papers while at work. You can tell your supervisors you’re unwilling to accept and have them deny this access or you can simply alert them that it’s possible. Either way, it’s important that the right people in your office are at least aware to avoid confusion or any security issues.

Ask for the necessary HR information

It’s likely you’re going to need certain employment information during the course of your divorce. This information could include any details to verify employment and salary along with details of certain benefits.

If you share an insurance plan, retirement plan, or other benefits with your spouse, you will need to take steps toward changing those to reflect your divorce. The court may need this information, as well, to ensure any balances are properly paid out as needed.

Beyond that, there may just be some HR paperwork you need to fill out to confirm any name changes, address changes, and other impacts from your divorce. Be sure to thoroughly review any paperwork you sign during this process.

At FAB Law Firm, we know these can be hard times. Even amicable divorces can be a lot of work and change. If you need a law firm that’s willing to support and stand by you through the process, call our team today.
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