Going through a divorce is a troubling and traumatic time. As you unpick your personal and financial lives, make plans for your children, and decide how you will split up your assets, you will also need to think about making a living.
For anyone heading into a divorce, there are some common pieces of wisdom that everyone likes to share. Don’t make any large purchases. Don’t continue using shared accounts. And always put your children first. But when it comes to careers, the most common advice seems to be to stay put and make sure you continue earning.
If you’re thinking about a change of career before you start divorce proceedings, there is no reason to think you need to put this on hold. While it might be a more stressful time, it could be just the distraction you need to help you to focus on the bigger picture.
Can I change careers during a divorce?
There is nothing in divorce law or divorce rights to say that you have to stay in the same role while you go through a divorce. It could become more complicated if your income changes, as this could impact your spousal support claim or obligations. The important thing is that you keep your solicitor updated about any income changes. Attempting to conceal a pay rise would not be a smart move.
Can I study while going through a divorce?
If you want to change career paths and need to study in order to do this, it should still be possible while you go through a divorce. However, it’s worth noting that your living expenses may increase while you go through this momentous life change. As a result, cutting off your source of income might add more stress to your plate. It might be advisable to study part-time so you can continue to work or delay your studies until after your divorce is finalised.
Do I have to tell an employer about my divorce?
If you are interviewing for a new role and are wondering if you need to inform your employer, don’t worry, there is no reason you would need to disclose this information. An employer cannot ask about your marital status, so there would be no reason this would come up in an interview.
If you have been working for the same employer for a while, you might want to update them on your divorce if you are concerned about how it might affect your work performance. However, there is no legal obligation to do this. If you move to a new address, your employer might need to have up-to-date records, but there is no reason you have to provide the reason for the move.
What happens if my income changes before or after a divorce?
If you change careers and this impacts your earnings, this may have an impact on your divorce settlement. The main things that could be affected would be spousal support and child maintenance agreements.
One of the biggest priorities of the courts is to allow couples to have a clean break and draw a line under their divorce. For this reason, courts will not often include future earnings in the division of assets. However, future earnings could influence spousal maintenance payments. If you were in receipt of spousal support and then gained a high-paying job, there is the chance this support could cease.
If you are in doubt about your legal position and what information you need to share, it would be wise to seek advice from your solicitor before making any big career changes.