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Balancing Work and Divorce

working after divorce

During your divorce, you are going to experience a lot of emotions that both positive and negative. Many times, after divorce, there is a period of reflection that can cause some people to consider additional life changes. Maybe you were a stay at home spouse or due to the expectations of your ex, you worked a job that did not fulfill you personally. Regardless, unless you are extremely wealthy, you are likely going to have to accept a work/life responsibility.

Understand How Your Divorce Will Impact You at Work

A divorce will create a lot of stress and anxiety that you must recognize. While you are working and dealing with a divorce, your mind and emotional state will be likely be strained to the point you make mistakes or lose some productivity. This lack of focus could be detrimental to your professional career if not closely monitored. This is not an excuse to avoid work, but if your job allows for personal time off, this could be a great opportunity to recharge and handle your personal situation.

Coping with Work

There are helpful ways to cope with work after a life changing event like divorce. Some of these are geared to help you emotionally, while others are a way to make sure your employment does not suffer.

Change Work Patterns

Your daily routine often becomes so ingrained in your life that you may not see how repeating it impacts you.

Take New Route to Work 

Taking a new route to work can create a sense of adventure and new memories that you won't associate with your ex.

For example:

You are on your way to work and pass by a favorite restaurant that you and your spouse shared. It is very likely that seeing the restaurant will trigger memories that could potentially cause you emotional stress.

Avoid this by enjoying a drive that you don't normally use, and you could find yourself arriving to work in a better mood!

Get Up Earlier

Research shows that early risers are much better at handling the stress of the day. Getting up a bit earlier can help you become more focused and help you overcome the dread of going into work, especially if you are feeling depressed.


Get a workout in. Find the time to exercise and your body and mind will reap the benefit. Your self confidence will improve and help you to take on the challenges of each day.

Keep Your Employer Up to Date

Don't forget to keep your employer up to speed on your personal situation. You are dealing with a lot of stress and most employers understand this. However, failing to communicate or just not showing up for work can cause you to lose your job and this is a time that you cannot afford to lose employment.

Make sure your employer knows about personal changes like:

  • Appointments
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Emergency contacts

Discuss a flexible work schedule with your boss so you can take care of your personal needs, while completing work requirements.

Avoid Situations that Make You Emotionally Vulnerable

While at work, try to avoid situations that may cause you emotional stress. Your mental health and work life shouldn't suffer if you can compartmentalize your work and personal situation.

Make sure you:

  • Do work during Work Hours
  • Save personal conversation for personal time
  • Reduce Distractions
    • Turn off Phone
    • Turn off Messenger Service
    • Don't Look at Personal Emails
  • Avoid Emotional Outbreaks at Work
  • Keep Personal Conversations w Coworkers at a Minimum
    • Keep talks about your divorce to lunches or afterwork
    • Unless you want your personal information turned into gossip, only speak with a trusted coworker

Seek Professional Help

There is no shame in seeking help from professionals. A divorce attorney, counselor or even a clergy member can be your best friend during this time. This means, they can offer you guidance that can help you overcome challenge of going to work. Professionals have the experience needed to help guide you through this difficult time. Remember that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you overcome this new challenge.

Fear of Leaving Kids

This is a common obstacle for stay at home parents after divorce. The parent is used to providing the primary care for the children and can have difficulty with attachment issues when entering the work force.

Make sure your childcare arrangements are with a trusted and capable guardian and some of your anxiety about leaving your children should subside. This also a great reason to seek professional support. A counselor may be able to guide you through the emotions of separating from your children.

Reasons to Go to Work

A divorce is a difficult event to process for a lot of people. Due to the emotional stress that many people go through, the prospect of going to work can be overwhelming. But, there are benefits to getting back in the work force.

Some good reasons to be excited about going back to work are that you may find a boost in your self confidence and social life improvement.

Entering the Work Force

If you were a stay at home spouse, entering the work force can be a daunting idea. But you have to remember, unless your alimony payment is very generous, going back to work is a must in order to pay your bills.

Understanding Your Economic Situation

One of the first things any person divorcing should consider is how their life will be impacted economically.

It is a must that you take note of your:

  • Finances
  • Budget
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Spending habits
  • Debt

Get Help!

The workforce has probably changes some since the last time you were employed.

Here are some tips to help you get on the right track so you can be successful post-divorce:

  • Update Your Resume
  • Seek Training/Education
  • Meet with a Career Coach
  • Research jobs/Think About Career - What do YOU want to do?
  • Practice Interview - Job interviews can be intimidating. Try practicing to become more comfortable when the time comes for your interview.
  • Get Comfortable with Technology - Computers and technology are rapidly advancing. This will most likely impact you on the job and the more comfort you have with technology, the better chance you have to land your dream job.
  • Networking - The old saying, "It's not what you know, but who you know" does have some merit. Meet people in the field you want to pursue. Find out what it takes to be successful and show your worth.

Be Patient, Be Persistent

Remember this is a new chapter in your life. You will experience difficulty along the way, but don't give up. Each day will get better as you become more comfortable in your new setting or lifestyle. Follow the tips listed above, and you'll soon find your way to a happy, fulfilled life.

Do You Need Assistance with Your Divorce?

Everyone's situation is different. No two divorces are exactly the same, but the experienced attorney's at the Doyle Law Group understand what it takes to successfully handle cases that meet our clients needs. If you need counsel on your case, don't hesitate to give us a call.

Our attorney's can be reached by calling 919-301-8843 or completing the contact form below.

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