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Divorce and work – what should you know?

By Jeffery M. Leving.

You and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse told your family and close friends about your divorce, and you discovered the most favorable way to break the news to your children. Have you thought about what you should say to your employer? Whom should you tell about your marital split, and how can you restructure your career to accommodate your life as a newly single person?

Let your boss know

One of the few people at the office with whom you may need to share the news of your divorce is your boss. You may have meetings with your legal representative to discuss maintenance, formerly known as alimony, or how to divide the marital home, which could require taking off early or other adjustments to your schedule. Because divorce often takes an emotional and psychological toll, your work performance may suffer in the coming days, weeks and months – but hopefully only for a short time. Letting your boss know about the recent change in your life may garner understanding and leeway, which may help you retain your position.

Think twice about drastic shifts

You may experience daily emotional and mental shifts because of your divorce, but hold back on making a sudden career change, unless it’s advisable. Now may not be the most opportune time to quit your job or move to a lower-paying position. You do not want to jeopardize your career or financial health.

Communicate with HR

Filing for divorce may mean changing how you file your taxes, tweaking your insurance policy and restructuring your retirement account. For all three, meet with one of your company’s human resources representatives to determine what paperwork you must complete and file – but first, talk to your lawyer. You and your ex-spouse may not mind keeping each other on your shared health insurance plans for a little while as you transition, but the two of you may need to have a frank conversation about that before long. Otherwise, ask your lawyer for recommendations on selecting the right plan that fits your new life as a single person.

Review your income

Maybe you relied on your spouse’s income for your financial health. If so, determine how to work for a promotion or go back to school to earn a degree or certificate to advance in your field. Even if your former spouse is ordered to pay maintenance or child support, you may not receive those payments indefinitely.

Do you have a framework for navigating and surviving divorce? Speak with us to protect your position and income while finalizing your marital split. At the Law Offices of Jeffery M. Leving Ltd. in Chicago, we represent spouses, ex-spouses, partners and ex-partners in complex matters involving divorce, children, custody and parenting time in Illinois and nationally.