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How to talk to your boss about your divorce

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2021 | Divorce

You’re part of a professional practice with a boss or partners, assistants, employees and clients — all of whom expect you to be available, attentive and oriented to your work.

That can present a big problem when you’re going through a divorce. Whether you want the divorce or you just accept that it’s inevitable, the process can leave you drained of energy with your focus scattered.

Why tell your boss or partners about your private drama?

Because there’s no way this will remain entirely private for long. You may be required to make changes to your healthcare plan, your tax withholdings and more — and you may need to miss work for mediation sessions and court appearances.

What do you say to your boss or partners about your divorce?

This is more art than science, but follow these tips:

  1. Stick to just the basics. Don’t go into the details of your marital breakup and don’t disparage your spouse (because that’s unprofessional). Keep the focus on how your divorce may affect your work.
  2. Be clear about your needs. You’re going to need time for attorney visits, custody hearings and court dates, so let your boss know that you may need some flexibility in your schedule. If you anticipate a bitter custody battle, for example, you may need to ask for some of your workload to be shifted for a while.
  3. See if you can do some remote work. It may be easier to schedule your time (and cope with the emotions of the situation) if you work from home. If you can, see if you can shift some of your schedule to remote work.
  4. Communicate any changes. As your divorce progresses, ongoing communication with your superiors or partners is going to be key. Let them know if you need some extra time off — and let them know what your plan is to get caught up on any missed work.

Hopefully, you and your spouse will negotiate a relatively peaceful end to your marriage — but, whatever comes, you’ll be ready.