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Hotly contested divorces may impact work productivity

Readers of this divorce blog know that divorce can be expensive, especially if matters like valuing and dividing the marital estate, child support and alimony are hotly contested. Yet a recent finding may surprise readers.

According to the analysis, the cost of divorce extends beyond the budgets of the couple at issue. Specifically, divorce may also affect employers, coworkers and the workplace, as a whole, by decreasing worker productivity. According to one estimate, employee productivity in the year of the divorce may be reduced by as much as 40 percent. That energy drain may also affect coworkers and supervisors of the divorcing worker, by around 4 and 2.5 percent, respectively.

Indeed, the emotions and lifestyle changes brought about by a divorce can take a toll. Yet the last thing anyone in a divorce needs is to have his or her job jeopardized. An attorney who is experienced in divorce and family law may have strategies for easing the process. If a couple is amicable, it may be possible to negotiate many of the terms that will ultimately be included in the divorce decree. If court involvement cannot be avoided, an attorney can also help be an aggressive advocate, working to ensure that his or her client is not taken advantage of by the other spouse’s attorney.

If children are involved, an attorney can also work to present evidence that presents a compelling view of the child’s best interest. Although courts often presume that a child can benefit from joint custody, the matters of financing that child’s needs might be more disputed. An attorney can work to ensure that a spouse with legal custody is afforded the child support that he or she needs.

Source: Biz Journals, “The cost of divorce to employers,” Rosemary Frank, March 10, 2014

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