While divorce is difficult enough to deal with privately, you cannot turn on the television or pass a newsstand without seeing the public scrutiny of a very private matter. All the while, both parties are expected to carry on with business as usual, but how can they? How do you?

Will you be able to handle your divorce in front of co-workers? And, what can you expect from the divorce process? These are questions to consider as you make important decisions that will no doubt impact your future and possibly your career.

Should I tell my employer or co-workers about my pending divorce?

There is no requirement that you tell an employer or co-workers about your pending divorce. Whether or not you do so must be the result of careful consideration of a number of factors including, but not limited to, whether your employer and or co-workers having knowledge of your divorce will be beneficial or detrimental to you. The answers to those questions will lie in the nature of your workplace, the nature of the work atmosphere, and the nature of your relationships with your employer and or co-workers. Some people are not interested in being involved in the personal lives of co-workers or employees, while other work situations provide significant support for a spouse who is going through the divorce process.

Whatever decision is made, it should be one that is well considered. Any information that is shared with an employer or co-worker should also be carefully disseminated. Even a statement believed to be in confidence made to an employer or co-worker may be a statement that will ultimately be shared with others. Perhaps you may decide that the workplace is the place where you can get away from the difficulties associated with your divorce, in which case you may make the election not to share the information.

Irrespective of what you decide, it is possible that the workplace will be informed and will be involved even without your input. It is certainly possible that subpoenas could be directed to co- workers who are believed to have pertinent information and/or to an employer to seek information with regard to your employment.

How much work should I expect to miss as the divorce process plays out?

It depends on how amicable the divorce is. If the divorce is contested which will involve a more lengthy process, you will need more time off than if you were to come to an agreement through a mediator.

If you have a contested matter, you will need to appear in court for one or more of the following proceedings: scheduling conference, pendente lite hearing, settlement conference, exceptions hearing, and trial. In addition, you may need to participate in depositions and will definitely need to meet with your attorney. Just be prepared to ask for personal time off and make sure to save up your personal time for the process rather than using it for other things, if you can help it.

Can financial documents be subpoenaed from my job?

Yes, your spouse’s attorney can subpoena your employer to acquire documents from your job. There are circumstances under which you can attempt to stop the production, but it is likely the records will be produced.

What documents should I change and when?

There are many types of documents you will want to change in connection with the dissolution of your marriage:

  • will;
  • car insurance;
  • life insurance;
  • power of attorney;
  • bank accounts;
  • government records;
  • credit cards;
  • corporate minutes; and
  • beneficiary designations, or retirement and other accounts.