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Divorce law blog

Impact of separation/divorce on work

27/11/2014   By:

Coming to terms with the breakdown of a relationship is a difficult and emotional time for anyone. The impact that the divorce or separation process has on your personal life can also affect you in the workplace. Your relationships with colleagues can suffer as can your ability to focus on the job. Research commissioned by Resolution, the national organisation of family lawyers dedicated to promoting a non-confrontational, constructive approach to resolving family disputes, shows that one in ten people have had to leave their job after a separation or worked with a colleague who has had to leave for that reason. The process can also take its toll on your health and lead to periods of absence. 16% of the people surveyed said either they or a colleague has had to take sick leave as a direct result of the breakdown of a relationship. If you hold a senior position in your organisation, this can cause disruption and may have an effect on morale within your team. You may become more reliant on colleagues for emotional support and reassurance and this may in turn impact on their productivity. 15% of those surveyed identified divorce as having a negative impact on productivity in their workplace and 34% said that more needed to be done by employers to provide additional support.

It is not only the emotional side of separation which can be a distraction. If you become engaged in court proceedings, it is likely that you will need to have a great deal of contact with your solicitor by telephone, email and in person and to attend court hearings. This can lead to further periods of absence or considerable time spent on personal matters during the working day. You cannot choose the date on which your court hearings will take place and you have to comply with the court timetable. More information about court proceedings can be found here.

There are a number of other ways to deal with separation and to resolve disputes which can be less stressful and more flexible. The options include mediation, collaborative law and arbitration. You have more choice about when and where mediation, collaborative or arbitration sessions take place and may be able to arrange them outside work hours. These processes give you more control and enable you to resolve matters with minimum disruption to your work and personal lives.

This week is National Dispute Resolution Week which aims to raise awareness and highlight the benefits of alternatives to court. Mills & Reeve are pleased to be hosting Family Dispute Resolution Conferences throughout the week. Today’s conference is in Manchester.

Rebecca Lang

Solicitor (Family Lawyer)


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