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Keeping your divorce from affecting your work

Unless you’re self-employed and work at home, your personal life is bound to creep into your workplace relationships. If you share a workplace with others, you may wonder whether you should say anything about your divorce or keep it to yourself.

As you go through your divorce, you want to minimize the effect it has on your work. The last thing you need now is to lose your job. However, it’s likely that at some point, you’ll need to take a bit of time off or rearrange your schedule to deal with a legal matter or childcare issue.

Why you need to tell your manager

Even if you choose not to share the news with your colleagues, you should tell your direct manager. This serves several purposes. First, you want to let them know that it’s possible you might need to take a long lunch hour, come in late or leave early at some point to deal with unavoidable commitments.

At the same time, it’s crucial to assure them that your divorce will not affect your quality of work, your ability to take on new assignments or your commitment to your job. Finally, managers never want to be the last to know something involving an employee – and sometimes not even the second to know. You can also mention that you’re not planning to tell anyone else – or very few people. This gives them a head’s up that they need to keep the information to themselves.

How much should you tell your boss? Typically, it’s wise not to go into detail with them or anyone else at work. Have a polite but vague answer ready for anyone who asks intrusive questions – or just wants to know more than you’re comfortable sharing.

Don’t let the divorce intrude on your work

The best way not to let your divorce affect your work is not to look at or respond to texts, emails or phone calls from your spouse or anything divorce-related while you’re at work. Your attorney should understand and respect that. Your spouse may be less cooperative.

With sound legal guidance, you’ll know that your divorce is in good hands, and you should be able to have fewer distractions to your work as you end your marriage.

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