It’s a given that going through a divorce creates havoc in your personal life, so how do you balance work and divorce?

It’s hard enough to separate work from the rest of life. And when you go through a divorce, it’s even more challenging.

You may need to talk with your attorney during the day. Or you may just need to vent to a friend on the phone.

Depending on your position at work and your industry, it may be wise not to disclose details of your divorce to work colleagues.

That means taking phone calls away from where nosy colleagues may overhear your conversation.

When I was going through my divorce, many work colleagues didn’t know.

And clients definitely did not know – the focus was on them, not my personal life.

It’s not creating a façade or not being authentic; it’s being smart about staying professional.

It was difficult for me to talk about my divorce, so I focused on work.

Everyone is different. And every divorce is unique.

You’ll need to figure out what works for you.

To help you maintain professionalism as you deal with your divorce, here are some suggestions.

It may be challenging to carry out this suggestion if you have minor children.

Of course, you’ll respond to messages from or about your children, but leave messages regarding your divorce for later.

Similar to #1, the exception is if you have minor children.

This group will help you through your emotions to avoid venting at work.

Your attorney charges per hour and may be an expensive option for this type of support.

Consider hiring non-legal professionals such as therapists and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® to sort through your concerns.

If you’re negotiating your settlement and know you’ll be on the phone most of the day, then take a personal day or work from home.

In this way, your colleagues won’t overhear details about your divorce.

If you have difficulty focusing on multiple projects or need more time away from the office, let your manager know about your situation.

Stress it’s a temporary request and you’ll be back to normal in a few weeks.

There may be a way to temporarily reassign some of your workload without risking losing your job.

Going through a divorce is challenging, especially when you must maintain professionalism at work.

Find ways outside of work to release your stress. And set boundaries for when you respond to divorce-related communication.

While the days may seem endless when you’re balancing work and divorce, there will be light at the end of the tunnel.

The light will be your resilience and prosperity in your new post-divorce life.

(Update to original post from March 21, 2018)


Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA®, RICP®, is a Managing Director at Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing  comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, and retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”