by Diana L. Martinez
Collaborative Lawyer and Mediator, West Coast Law & Mediation, APC
Divorce takes an emotional, physical, and financial toll on spouses and their children. But the potential negative effects of divorce don’t stop with the family directly involved. They often spill out past the front door and affect many other people.
When a valued employee is going through the trauma of a divorce, the divorce can affect the entire workplace. The cost to employers can go well beyond absenteeism for a few days here and there to attend court hearings or meetings with the lawyers. Trying to accommodate the employer and the divorce process can prove challenging.
Courthouses are open only between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Most lawyers’ offices are only open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. While some lawyers can be more flexible, most judges and courts cannot. The higher the conflict in the divorce, the more court appearances and the more time spent with the lawyers and in court.
Additionally, less obvious costs include:
- “Presenteeism”: The employee who is physically present at work, but unable to focus as a result of the divorce.
- Employees wasting valuable work time talking with co-workers about their