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Your Family Law Dispute and Your Job

Whenever family law disputes are occurring (be they divorce, custody or some post-decree modification), there is significant stress that impacts all facets of a litigant's life with relation to job performance, debt, money management, routine household tasks and productivity. With employment, statistical studies of large-scale employers usually reflect 50-75% drops in productivity by the worker in such an action, as well as a "ripple effect" among the co-workers and line managers who struggle to adjust and cover for the productivity loss.

Most employers tend to make allowances for valued employees, as it is expensive to train people. When the productivity loss gets to be too great, however, employers are forced by necessity to evaluate whether the affected employee's retention in the workplace is worth the sacrifice; over the long term, this can lead to position stagnation, demotion, censure or firing.

For Kentucky litigants, note that an employer can generally terminate an employee for any reason (subject to the requirements of a written contract of employment or a collective bargaining agreement). Most Louisville employers are fairly accomodating with regard to their employees needing time for court appearances, mediation sessions, mental health consultations and attorney consultations, but there is a practical limit to what amount of lost time any particular workplace can absorb.

With this in mind, here are some tips with regard to your workplace, learned over time from our experience:

1. The one thing that you will need to remain intact after your action is concluded is a good relationship with your employer and a good employment record. Repeat that thought every time you are inclined to discuss specifics about your action with your co-workers, your boss and any stray fellow employee.

2. Be considerate about scheduling attorney consultations, therapy appointments and mediation sessions. Know your work flow, and try and choose dates and times which diminish the impact of your absences. Your attorney will work with you on that.

3. Make sure your employer is aware of your scheduling needs in advance of them, give your managers the opportunity to agree in advance.

4. Eat appropriately, get enough sleep and concentrate on working while you're at work.

5. Don't do your "suit prep" at work - concentrate on work.

Ultimately, by being considerate and attentive, you lessen the impact of your family law action on your co-workers and management.