Never Quit Your Job during Divorce and More Career Advice

If you're going through a divorce, it's important to stay focused on setting your future up for the best possible success. Money is a big part of that. A good way to start your next chapter on the right foot includes maintaining your income and ability to provide for yourself, your kids (if you have them), and your future. 

Prioritizing job security and financial health

During a divorce, it's crucial to prioritize your job security and financial health. Keeping your income stable and your financial assets in order can alleviate some of the stress associated with divorce. Here are some tips.

  • Maintain professionalism at work. Strive to keep your professional life separate from your personal turmoil. Do what you can to maintain your productivity and adhere to workplace policies.
  • Avoid job switching. Now is probably not the time for a career change. Job stability is key during divorce proceedings.
  • Secure your income: Now is the time to protect your income as much as you can. This includes your salary, bonuses, and other benefits. Check with your HR department if you have questions about your compensation or benefits.

Work-life balance strategies during divorce

Of course, balancing your personal and professional life can be challenging during a divorce. Here are some tips.

  • Think through your boundaries. For example, you may decide to limit discussions about your divorce at work. Setting this boundary can help you maintain your professionalism and focus.
  • Get the support you need. This is hard work, so utilize available resources such as counseling or employee assistance programs. They can provide emotional support and practical advice.
  • Take care of your health. The stress of this life change can take its toll on your body. Protect yourself by engaging in regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and getting adequate sleep. These behaviors can help you manage stress and keep yourself as healthy as possible.
  • Delegate work tasks at work, if possible. Understand that you might not be able to handle as much workload as usual. If possible, assign some responsibilities to your colleagues or subordinates to lighten your load.
  • Set clear work hours. Establish clear work hours, and stick to them. Avoid working overtime, as that can lead to burnout and impact your ability to manage personal matters. Make sure your supervisor and colleagues are aware of your work schedule.
  • Use time-management tools. Utilize tools like calendars, planners, or digital apps to organize your day. These can help you stay on track with your work commitments and set aside time for personal activities.
  • Prioritize your tasks. Not all tasks are equally important. Prioritize your work based on urgency and importance. This way, you can concentrate on what needs immediate attention and postpone or delegate tasks that are less critical.
  • Take breaks. Regular breaks can help refresh your mind and boost productivity. Schedule short breaks throughout your workday to relax and recharge.
  • Nurture yourself. Finally, remember to take care of your physical and mental health. Regular exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep can go a long way in maintaining your overall well-being.

Work-related things to avoid during divorce

Divorce is tough. At times, you may feel your life is spinning out of control. But there are some things you can control, and one of those is your job. Here are some work-related things to avoid during divorce.

Quitting your job

There are many reasons to keep your job right now, even if you feel overwhelmed and ready to run out the door.

  • Stability: During this time of upheaval, you need stability. Quitting right now would likely create more stress and uncertainty when you need to focus on moving forward.
  • Support: Your job is a source of financial support as well as a distraction from the stress of your personal life. 
  • Security: Quitting your job could negatively impact your divorce proceedings. If you’re the primary breadwinner, it could place your spouse and children in a difficult position financially. It could also be seen as an act of abandonment or desperation, which could damage your case in court.

Failing to set boundaries between your work and personal life

Taking care of yourself and making time for personal concerns is essential right now, and it may require you to “compartmentalize” your life so you can work on healing from your divorce in your personal time and focus on work while you’re at work.

Avoid discussing your divorce with co-workers. It is not their business, and they may not understand what you’re going through, which could ultimately bias them against you.

Putting in too much overtime

Working too much (perhaps as a form of “escape”) could lead to burnout and make you less effective on the job. It’s always important to maintain a good work-life balance, but it’s even more important right now. Don’t clock in so many hours that you neglect your physical and mental health. Taking time away from work for yourself can actually help you be more productive at work.

Not reporting all sources of income in your disclosures

You must be truthful and transparent about all of your finances during divorce. Hiding or misrepresenting sources of income could lead to serious consequences, including fines. If you are caught hiding income, your divorce proceedings could be delayed or even canceled. You might even be ordered to pay your spouse's legal fees.

Beginning an office romance

Office romances can lead to complications and distractions on the job. If the relationship ends, it can be difficult to maintain a professional relationship with the other person. 

Initiating a new relationship before finalizing your divorce can complicate the negotiations and proceedings. While it’s not illegal to date someone while you’re going through a divorce, it could affect decisions related to alimony, child custody, and property division.

Suggested reading: The Truth about Dating before Your Divorce Is Final

Smart work-related things to do during your divorce

Just as there are things to avoid at work during your divorce, there are also some smart things you can do. Here are some ideas.

Update your resume

As your life evolves, you may find yourself wanting or needing a new job. Thinking about your professional future is a great way to stay hopeful about the chapters of your life to come. Updating your resume is one way to stay on track and feel ready for change. 

It’ll also help boost your confidence. A major life change such as divorce can be challenging, but your career is something you can control – and a little “bragging” about yourself on paper can help you feel good about yourself.

Learn new skills

Continue learning new skills. This gives your brain a break from stressing about the divorce and may also make you more marketable. Maybe you’ll attend a work-related training. Maybe you’ll take salsa dancing lessons. Whatever you do to enhance yourself and your well-being can translate to positive career changes later.

Even if you’re not currently looking for a job, maintain any professional networks you have, whether they’re in-person relationships or virtual connections through websites like LinkedIn. These networks can be helpful if you need career advice or recommendations during or after your divorce.


Are you happy with your job? Will your current income be enough to support you and your children? If your job makes you unhappy or anxious about your financial future, now may be the time to look for something new.

Advancing your skills during times of change

  • Leveraging professional development: Many organizations offer resources for skill enhancement. These may include online courses, webinars, or workshops. Take advantage of these opportunities to acquire new skills or improve existing ones. If such resources are not readily available, seek them out. Numerous online platforms provide industry-relevant courses that can help you grow professionally.
  • Upskilling: Upskilling is the process of learning new skills or improving your current skills to perform better in your job. This could range from mastering a new software tool to enhancing your leadership abilities. Upskilling not only improves your job performance but also makes you more valuable to your employer and more competitive in the job market.
  • Networking: Networking is a powerful tool for career advancement. Engage with colleagues, join industry groups, attend professional events, or connect with peers on social media platforms. Networking can open doors to new opportunities and provide valuable insights into your industry.

Suggested reading: How Does Divorce Financial Planning Work?

What about the kids?

Balancing parenting responsibilities with work commitments during a divorce is a challenging task. However, with strategic planning and open communication, it's manageable. Here are some suggestions:

  • Strive for a flexible work arrangement. You might decide to discuss your situation with your employer in order to explore options for flexible working. This could involve remote work, flexible hours, or a job-sharing arrangement. Such options can provide you with the necessary time to attend to your children's needs without compromising on your professional duties.
  • Prioritize your children’s needs. Amidst the upheaval of a divorce, it's crucial to prioritize your children's emotional well-being. Help them feel loved and secure. Maintain their routines as much as possible. Be present during important moments, and keep the lines of communication open.
  • Understand your legal rights and responsibilities regarding child custody and visitation. Consider consulting with a family law attorney to make sure your work schedule is compatible with your parental obligations.


What if I get fired or laid off during my divorce?

First, try to stay positive and upbeat, even when things are tough. Find ways to do this, such as journaling, exercising, joining a support group, participating in therapy, or even just listening to some uplifting music. Positive energy and motivation can help carry you through this difficult time.

Second, carve out some time to ponder your next steps. Depending on your situation, it might be a good idea to meet with a career counselor, unemployment lawyer, or life coach to get some guidance.

Should I tell my boss I’m getting a divorce?

Some people feel the need to disclose this information to maintain trust and transparency in the workplace. Others worry that their boss would think less of them or see them as unstable. Ultimately, it’s up to you to judge what’s best for you and your career.

On one hand, informing your employer can lead to better understanding and support. A manager who is aware of your situation may be more empathetic and accepting of fluctuations in your performance or attendance. On the other hand, sharing personal information at work could lead to unwanted speculation or judgment. Consider your workplace culture, your relationship with management, and your comfort level with sharing personal issues.

If you choose to disclose your divorce, prepare a professional narrative. This narrative should be brief, factual, and focused on how the situation might impact your work. Avoid unnecessary details or emotional descriptions. For example, you might say, "I am going through a personal matter that may temporarily affect my schedule, but I am committed to maintaining my performance and meeting my responsibilities."

Dealing with a divorce often requires time away from work for legal proceedings or personal adjustment. If you need more flexibility, prepare a proposal outlining your request. Be clear about what you need (e.g., remote work, flexible hours), explain why, and propose a plan for ensuring your work gets done. Maintain a focus on mutual benefit, assuring your employer that your proposed changes won't negatively impact your productivity or the team's goals.

I was a homemaker. How can I get a job with no work experience after divorce?

Although you may not have any recent office experience, you would likely still bring skills to the table that employers would value.

  • Focus on your strengths and experiences. Update your resume with these items, and highlight them in your job applications and interviews.
  • Network with friends and family members who may be able to help you find a job.

What if my ex-spouse quits or loses their job during or immediately after our divorce?

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  •  You are not responsible for your spouse's job status. You are only responsible for your own actions.
  •  Don't panic. Take care of yourself emotionally and physically.
  •  If appropriate, communicate with your spouse, and show support. Losing a job is a grueling experience.
  •  If you were relying on them for financial support, explore your options for employment or accessing other sources of income.

Embracing your new beginning

The aftermath of a divorce can be a time of personal growth and professional renewal. By adopting a forward-looking perspective, you can transform this challenging phase into an opportunity for career advancement.

Each person’s divorce journey is unique. There's no one-size-fits-all solution, and what works best for you will depend on your circumstances, aspirations, and resilience. Embrace the change, learn from the experience, and look ahead with optimism.

Divorce Content Specialist & Lawyer
Divorce Strategy, Divorce Process, Legal Insights

Bryan is a non-practicing lawyer, HR consultant, and legal content writer. With nearly 20 years of experience in the legal field, he has a deep understanding of family and employment laws. His goal is to provide readers with clear and accessible information about the law, and to help people succeed by providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to navigate the legal landscape. Bryan lives in Orlando, Florida.