If you and your spouse are divorcing, it’s going to impact your work life at some point. Whether you go in to an office or other workplace regularly or you work at home, you’ll need to tell the necessary people about your divorce. So whom do you tell and how much do you tell them?
Why your boss needs to know
This is a major life event. Even if you believe you can handle things outside of work hours, you may need to take a morning or afternoon off for a court hearing. That isn’t the time to announce the news to your boss.
By telling them as early as possible, you can assure them that this will have little impact on your schedule, but you may need some flexibility on occasion. It’s also important to assure your boss that the divorce won’t affect your work. This isn’t the time to lose your job. You don’t want to be passed up for a big project or promotion because your boss is concerned that you won’t have the time or focus for it.
You don’t need to give your boss the details about why you’re divorcing. In fact, unless the two of you are close friends, don’t. If you aren’t sharing the news with colleagues, let your boss know that.
If you are telling anyone else at work, do so only after your manager knows. If you have a job where you report to more than one person, you may need to share the same information with all of them.
Notify your human resources department
You’ll likely need to make changes to multiple documents and other things handled by HR. This may include your health and other insurance coverage, retirement plan, address, tax forms, name, emergency contact and more. You can likely do this via email.
Even if you’re able to avoid missing work to deal with divorce-related issues, it’s important not to bring those issues in to the workplace. Ask your soon-to-be ex not to call or text during your work hours unless it’s about the kids. Don’t check your personal email while you’re at work.
An experienced family law attorney will understand that contacting you during your work hours unless necessary is a distraction and avoid it so you can focus on your job. They can also provide guidance if you have other workplace issues regarding your divorce.