When your personal life is suffering, it might feel impossible to focus at work and yet, during times of uncertainty your job and performance are essential to provide financial security and stability.  So how do you manage through it? Consider three important questions:

Does my company provide me with support during this difficult life transition?

Most companies now realize that work and life are intertwined and accept that the more their valued employees are supported, the more likely they can thrive through periods of particular personal adversity. Happily, many companies are embracing their role in supporting their employees during difficult times as well as providing traditional happy perks such as food and discounted entertainment access. You might be surprised to find what is available.  

While you might feel embarrassed to discuss your divorce with your employer’s HR department, it might surprise you to know that they want to help and often they have resources available that you might have been unaware of. It is very common for HR to become involved so that they can support you and the exhaustive paperwork process that might very well include documents from them. Start with approaching them and asking what support they offer by way of employee benefit. Do they offer administrative support services, coaching services or access to any technology resources? Do they have an EAP, and if so, are the resources it offers appropriate to your individual circumstances?

Author’s Note: A word of warning. Where resources are offered, make sure that they are appropriate for you. An EAP, for example, is simply a list of names. Yes, they represent discounted assistance which is valuable, however, in my experience, your search for the correct professional should not be limited to that list. Do your research to be absolutely certain they are of the caliber and experience that is required for your unique set of circumstances.

How much time is my divorce going to occupy and how can I minimize the effect on my work productivity?

On average, a divorce will result in approximately 170 hours of lost working time, which amounts to four working weeks. This is a huge amount of time and can have a real and lasting impact on your professional performance.

First, it is important to be aware of this and to make adjustments where possible to allow for this lost time and where there are not enough hours to do so, seek help.

One of the major misconceptions is that your attorney will carry the burden of your divorce for you. This is not the case, nor should it be. Your attorney will be expensive, and you are hiring them to provide you with legal advice, not to compile paperwork, manage logistics or discuss the practical implications and realities of your separation. Do your research and take advantage of the new and emerging technology tools that are now available which can save you thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars and many hours of your time. Dtour.life is the best divorce management platform I have found, and I use it exclusively with my clients. Think of it as the digital backbone of your divorce; whilst you may not think you need it at first the financial organization and analysis tools will help you manage the components of your entire divorce. Other tools such as Divorceify will link you to local professionals and platforms such as Untied can help you find support in your local community.

Where possible and appropriate, you should also engage the help of a specialist divorce consultant, certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) and/or concierge to help you carry the administrative burden of your divorce and ultimately save you time, money and emotional distress.

What other ways might your divorce influence your working life that are not immediately obvious and what can I do about this?

Research shows that employees in failing relationships operate at an average reduced performance rate of 40%. The stress associated with the divorce or breakup also impacts colleagues or subordinates and can have huge bearing on both mental health and financial wellness. The stress of a divorce can also affect an individual’s appetite for risk, which for people working in financial services can be hugely impactful.

It is not a life transition that can be handled alone or in a vacuum. Seek appropriate support. Divorce is particularly unique in that it is still so confusing to know what do, how to do it or who to call. Engaging a consultant who specializes in supporting executives through divorce or other periods of personal adversity helps clarify the process, bring organization and ensures that you are doing everything possible to try to reduce the impact of your personal situation on your working life.

Katie Lynch, Founder, Apiary Consulting

Apiary Consulting

Relationship breakdown is one of life’s most stressful events. Apiary Consulting is a bespoke support and concierge service for individuals (particularly working professionals and executives) dealing with relationship breakdown. Our consultants (all former matrimonial attorneys) provide bespoke one-on-one support to relieve the burden and allow space and time for clarity of thought. We are our clients’ sounding board, strategic thinking partner, financial analyst, and personal assistant. We want to ensure that our clients feel in control and able to make the best decisions for themselves and for their wider family, at all times.

This article first appeared on www.DivorceMag.com: https://www.divorcemag.com/articles/questions-to-consider-if-you-are-a-working-and-going-through-divorce