No one wants their personal life to cast a shadow on their career or their relationship with co-workers, and that’s especially true if you are going through a divorce.

However, it can be challenging to isolate work from private matters while dealing with the emotions of divorce, as well as potential court appearances, phone calls and other demands for your time.

Strategies to keep your divorce and job separate

While managing a divorce at work can be a balancing act, here are some steps you can take to keep disruptions to a minimum and avoid damaging your career:

  • Schedule divorce tasks: In a perfect world, you would deal with divorce matters only on your time off, but that’s unlikely if you work a regular 9-to-5 job Monday through Friday. Set aside time each day, maybe a lunch hour, to respond to emails or make phone calls related to the divorce.
  • Use personal email: Never use your work email for personal business, especially related to divorce. If you use your work email, your messages may not be private, and by doing so, you may waive your right to attorney-client privilege by using an unprotected server.
  • Be discreet and organized: If you use the same computer or laptop for work and personal matters, create a master folder containing all files related to your divorce. Keep hard copies in a safe place, and never leave papers containing confidential information where others can access them.
  • Only alert those who need to know: Never discuss your divorce with co-workers except for specific individuals, such as human resources representatives who will end up providing documents required for your divorce, or a business partner if you are the co-owner of the business.
  • Minimize the effects on HR colleagues: Instead of approaching human resources multiple times by requesting one document, work with your attorney to figure out everything you’ll need and present them with one organized list of paperwork.

Use common sense and don’t jeopardize your case

Keeping discussions at work about your divorce confined to those who need to know helps you keep a positive professional image as well as maintaining your privacy. And if that’s not enough, remember that your co-workers could be called to testify about any intimate details you may have shared at work relating to your personal life.