The Impact of Divorce on Professional Lives

While the huge personal cost of divorce and separation is well documented, there has been little research on the impact these challenging life events have on peoples’ professional lives.

However, recent research by the Positive Parenting Alliance (PPA) found that 90% of people felt that divorce and separation had a negative impact on their ability to do their job. Moreover, 95% felt that their mental health suffered during family breakdown and 75% felt it made them less efficient at work. Around 40% of people had to take time off from work to deal with the fallout and 52% feared losing their job because of the trauma they were contending with.

The PPA research also revealed that despite the impact of divorce and separation on peoples’ working lives and ability to do their jobs efficiently, only 9% of employers had specific policies or support in place to help employees. As a result, the PPA have introduced an initiative for companies to sign up to a policy to support employees who are struggling.

The PPA’s overall aim is to change the culture of separation with employers playing a vital and supportive role. Currently, most HR departments do not have a formal policy for staff going through divorce and separation.

The PPA campaign suggests that employers commit to supporting employees in the following ways:

  • Recognising separation as a ‘life event’ in HR policy so that those experiencing separation feel recognised and know they can access support.
  • Ensuring parents going through a separation have access to flexible working to enable them to manage school and childcare pick-ups and drop-offs while they reconfigure their family arrangements.
  • Giving employees access to, and pointing them towards, emotional counselling during this period.
  • Signposting and access to separation support services so that parents can have the guidance and support that they need to separate in the most compassionate and child-focused way.

The campaign has met with a hugely positive response, with businesses including Asda, Tesco, Metro bank, PwC, and Unilever, partnering with the PPA to promote more family-friendly policies for employees going through divorce or separation.


If you are thinking about divorce or separation, we offer a no obligation 60-minute initial consultation for you to understand the impact on your specific family circumstances for £50 (incl. VAT). To arrange a meeting please call us on 01444 472700, email or complete the form below.

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