I’m getting a divorce – Will I get support from my employer?

Going through a divorce is undoubtedly one of the most difficult things a person can experience. Going through a divorce whilst also working however can seem an impossible task. Here, Weronika Husejko looks at the pressure on divorcing couples and explores how employers are providing support to their divorcing employees.

Most people suffer from an extreme amount of stress when separating from their spouse, the breakdown of the marriage being a significant change to their life.  In addition to coping with the emotional side of the break-up, spouses must also deal with the practical side, to formalise the separation, which can be overwhelming.

The majority of separating spouses have financial ties, such as jointly owned property, which will need to be divided.  One of the toughest parts of a divorce is usually when  the couple must make a decision as to how these assets should be divided, particularly in cases where there are not enough to meet both spouses’ needs.

Dealing with these types of financial matters upon separation is challenging and emotionally draining, particularly for those who end up in Court proceedings, due to their time consuming and costly nature. For example, those in Court proceedings are usually required to comply with several Court directions, including attending Court hearings, which is a stressful experience in itself.

A divorce is therefore very demanding and as a result, it is not uncommon for employees experiencing a marital breakdown to feel torn between their job and their divorce, this often having a detrimental effect on their mental health. Historically speaking this has been something which most employees have unfortunately been expected to endure.

The BBC have however recently reported that some companies are beginning to introduce and build policies which are intended to help their employees in navigating a divorce.

By way of example, some companies are offering benefits such as: –

  • Paid time off to attend things such as solicitors’ meetings or mediation.
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Access to emotional and mental health support
  • Access to legal advice

There are also organisations in the UK which are trying to promote more family-friendly policies like those mentioned above to help those going through the breakdown of a relationship. For example, the Positive Parenting Alliance have called for a separation to be recognised as a ‘life event’ by employers in HR policies and have also suggested that employees going through a separation should be offered support by way of counselling if needed.

Tesco is one of the first large companies in the UK to provide their employees with this type of support, as recommended by the Positive Parenting Alliance.

In summary, whether you get any support from your employer during your divorce will be dependent upon their specific company policy, so you may wish to consider speaking to your HR department about the options available to you.

It does seem that there is a shift happening with more companies recognising the difficulties involved in a marital breakdown. In my view, this is a positive shift which also demonstrates an increasing awareness of the importance of mental health generally, which will hopefully result in more people receiving the support they need during what is a very difficult time.

If you or someone you know is affected by the issues raised in this blog post, we can provide you with expert legal advice. For more information, please get in touch with our specialist team at hello@mcalisterfamilylaw.co.uk


Bass Warehouse
4 Castle Street
M3 4LZ


If your enquiry is urgent please call

+44 (0)333 202 6433