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Researchers question the effect divorce has on our work lives

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We can say with incredible certainty that going through a divorce will have a significant impact on your finances. That's because there is a considerable amount of research out there that tells us this is true. When it comes to children, we can say again, with relative certainty, that they will also be affected by the process, which is something we pointed out in a post last month. We can say this because of psychological studies and because of the professional opinions of experts in the field.

But what about your job? Does the divorce process have any effect on your performance at work? This is the question some researchers hope to answer with a new study that could offer invaluable insight into the all-encompassing effect divorce has on our daily lives. "What's surprising is that we really don't know how divorce affects people's work," explains one researcher. "It's only anecdotal at this point."

If you've gone through the divorce process, you know what we mean. Divorce proceedings can be incredibly draining both physically and emotionally, leaving many individuals unable to focus on tasks, including work. High levels of stress only make matters worse, forcing some people to take a number of sick days just to recoup and recharge.

What researchers are most interested in is getting hard data that will support existing assumptions that divorce can have a serious effect on a person's work responsibilities. For a lot of people, having scientific validation to what they're experiencing may offer support, especially at their job. Divorcing individuals may feel more empowered to address their personal issues with their boss or request a leave of absence. In return, employers may be more inclined to offer more support, knowing that it could mean helping a divorcing individual to maintain employment.

As you can imagine, the results from this new study could be profound, especially for high-income individuals. In high-asset divorce, the division of property can leave a high-income individual's wealth significantly depleted. Losing one's job on top of that could be incredibly damaging financially. Understanding the effects divorce has on a person's work performance could help a high-income individual potentially avoid the loss of employment and the regrettable financial burden associated with such an outcome.

Source:  The Star Tribune, "U professor wants to know: How is divorce affecting your job?" Gail Rosenblum, Feb. 8, 2016

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