How to Help and Support an Employee Navigate Separation or Divorce

How to help and support an employee navigate separation or divorce.

Ending a relationship and separating is life-changing and one of the hardest things your employees will go through.  It can be harder than losing a loved one and going through the grieving process and is much harder than a new baby or moving house – the known “big events” in life.

A separation or divorce will completely change your employee’s life, friends, family, financial situation, well-being, and quite often career.  Once the divorce/separation has been navigated the light can be seen but it can be challenging getting there and understanding ways to help. 

Supporting your team members along the journey only leads to positive outcomes and greater staff retention.

  1. Ask open-ended questions so they feel comfortable chatting, this will allow you got get a better understanding as to the situation, so they feel more comfortable opening up. It is important to know what is going on with your team as this helps you not only better support them but reduce any potential business risks.
  1. Check in regularly, and/or schedule regular catch ups. If you’re not comfortable doing this, then talk with HR to seek guidance.  Make sure someone is checking in with the employee to see how they are getting on, especially their mental health.
  1. Understand childcare requirements and what support frameworks they have in place.
  1. Work out a plan for use of leave to attend lawyers, and court appointments. Check that they have enough annual leave, sick and/or leave without pay.
  1. If you have the Equal Workplace Support online portal, encourage your staff member to log in and take advantage of the workbooks, tools, and resources to help them navigate this challenging time. Make sure to stress this is completely confidential, safe, and secure.
  1. Encourage your employee to talk to someone like a divorce coach, some companies offer to pay for this service to help guide them through the process.

If you need assistance with any of the above, then give the team at Equal Exes a call or drop us an email at support@equalexes.com We have tools and resources to help managers help their employees navigate through this challenging time.


Are you feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start in the separation process?

Whether you are on the fence about whether you should leave or not, are a couple who want to go through the process amicably, or are already embroiled in a messy separation, we would love to help.