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Workplace issues during Ontario separation and divorce

Some people work to live, while others live to work. With 24/7 access to work tasks that modern technology provides, more Canadians spend more time working than ever. Whether this is a rational way to live is debatable, but when Ontario couples are undergoing separation and divorce while also working, stress levels can lead to burn-out.

It doesn't have to be that way. Many employers have employee assistance programmes (EAP) which include counselling and legal advice. However, such legal help may be limited to court-arbitrated processes if legal advisors are not trained in mediation or collaborative family law. These are known to be less time-consuming and may dramatically reduce the stresses associated with divorce, particularly when workplace demands remain constant.

As in every life-altering change, the decision is up to those who have chosen to dissolve their marriages. However, if a person is using his or her EAP program to find a legal professional, he or she would want to ensure the lawyer supports alternative dispute resolution methods. A family law firm experienced in all types of divorce processes can provide options less intimidating than going to court.

Even if such EAP programmes are not available, workers can decide just how much or how little information about their change of status they wish to share and with whom. Some will advise close colleagues and immediate work supervisors that their home life is undergoing transition; others will not. Conscientious employers in Ontario will show discretion when separation and divorce suddenly become an issue in an employee's personal life, and a lawyer experienced in domestic relations can assist with in laying out options.

Source:, "For Divorcing Employees, A Little Support At Work Goes A Long Way", Nathalie Boutet, Accessed on April 7, 2018

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