A divorce brings more than just personal changes; it can alter your professional life, too. While you may be mainly focusing on the personal issues and emotional pressures that come with a divorce, there are many practical concerns that need your attention as well. Often, when a person ends their marriage, the change may mean they also have to rethink how they currently work. For example, if you are working full-time, you may have to adjust to your new role as a single parent by cutting your work hours. On the flip side, if you were not working during your marriage, you may need a job to support yourself now.
Whatever your circumstances are, your career will likely be impacted by your divorce in some way. To prepare for the potential changes, learn more about what you can anticipate.
A Shift in Work Priorities
While you are going through the divorce process, you will be very busy. Between the meetings with your family law attorneys, conferences with your tax professional or financial advisor, court dates, and the documents and information you have to gather, you will have a full plate.
Unfortunately, some of the tasks associated with your divorce may mean interruptions in your workweek. For example, you may get calls from the bank or your attorney while you are at work, and you may need to go to appointments or court hearings that are during work hours. Because of this, you will need some flexibility to make it all work. If you have a lot of paid time available, that can help. You can also speak to your manager about the situation, if you are comfortable doing so, to determine how much flexibility you will be able to receive. Be open about your needs, but also be practical about balancing your work and personal lives.
A Change in Your Work Hours
The process of divorce can be expensive, especially if you are now paying for your home alone and/or have to pay support to your spouse. In either situation, you may need to increase your work hours if possible. Alternatively, if you have any children, you may need to cut your hours down so you can adjust to your life as a single parent. On the days you have your child, you may have to leave work earlier to pick up your child from school or go into the office later so you can drop your child off at daycare or school.
Re-Entering the Workforce
Under-employed spouses or stay-at-home parents often end up re-entering the workforce after a divorce to support themselves. While a stay-at-home spouse may receive support as part of the divorce, it may be temporary or simply not enough to cover all of the receiving spouse’s needs. Just going back to work part-time can be tough if you haven’t been part of the workforce for a while. If you had a career in the past or a degree, it may be easier, but it’s still smart to consider taking some educational courses to refresh your skills.
Get Ready Now
Depending on your particular situation, there are many ways you can make the transition easier on your family and yourself. If you have kids, for example, ask close friends and relatives for help in the beginning until you and your former spouse get all the details sorted out.
Whether you have children or not, you will benefit from looking at your work situation and your budget and deciding where you stand. Consider your work, the hours and how the changes divorce will bring will impact your work needs as you move forward.