3 Ways Divorce Can Impact Your Career
One of the most frequently overlooked aspects of a divorce is the impact it can have on your professional life. While it’s common for many people to focus the majority of their attention on the effects divorce will have on their personal lives, the impact to your career can be just as drastic.
If you are thinking about getting a divorce, it’s essential to factor in the changes to your professional life as well as your personal life before making a final decision. Here are three things to consider before you file for divorce:
1) Your Focus Will Be Split
Even a fairly amicable divorce can take a lot of your time and attention. If your divorce is … less than amicable, be prepared for it to take a lot more time, attention, and energy than you expect. Many individuals going through a divorce find their productivity at work takes a hit because of all the energy a divorce requires.
For example, during a divorce, you’ll need to devote time to:
- Meetings with your attorney
- Meeting with financial and/or tax advisors
- Court dates
- Document gathering and production
- Settlement conferences
Not all of these tasks will apply to every couple. However, in most cases, you’ll have to carve out time usually reserved for work for dealing with divorce-related issues.
2) Increasing Or Decreasing Work Hours
If you have children and your spouse is the primary caretaker, you might suddenly be faced with the reality of being a single parent some of the time. This may necessitate reducing your work hours to take care of your children.
On the other hand, you may need to increase the number of hours you work to afford housing, childcare, and possibly alimony. Every couple’s situation is unique. It’s a good idea to evaluate what the potential impacts of your divorce will have on your professional life ahead of time.
3) Re-Entering The Workforce
If you’re a stay-at-home spouse or parent, you will likely need to re-enter the workforce during or after your divorce. While you may receive spousal support (alimony), it will likely be temporary and may not cover all of your living expenses.
If you haven’t worked for an extended period, finding a job can be challenging. Even part-time work can be difficult to secure if your skills and background are outdated. One potential solution is to go consider going back to school for training or a certificate program.
Whenever Possible, Have A Plan
While it’s not always possible with divorce, having a plan for what comes next will help you tremendously. Money, housing, and childcare are typically the biggest concerns during a divorce. Having a plan for each of those will help mitigate the stress of your situation.
It will be up to you to use your best judgment and decide whether or not to let your employer know about your situation. Some employers will be sympathetic and may offer to let you work flexible hours or an alternative schedule until things settle down. Others may not be as considerate and may scrutinize your performance to see if your work is being affected.
If you’re not sure what to do, talk to friends, family, and even your attorney if necessary for guidance. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and plan ahead whenever possible.
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