"Divorce With Decency":
More About My Book

By: Bradley Coates
Special to the
Oahu Island News

As I mentioned in my column last month, many readers have asked me to provide a brief update and summary of some of the material contained in my award winning book Divorce with Decency: The Complete How-To Handbook and Survivor’s Guide to the Legal, Emotional, Economic, and Social Issues. The book contains nine chapters, which when taken together, provide one of the most comprehensive overviews of the entire divorce process available within a single volume.

I will attempt to provide a wikiwiki outline/overview of the entire book. This will include an expanded description of the book’s table of contents, a summary of its nine chapter headings and key topics, and some brief elaboration on the basic themes and subheadings. So here goes:

Chapter 1: Introduction. It focuses on the depressing perspective of my twenty-year career as a battle-weary divorce lawyer and it argues for the need for “Divorce with Decency.”

Chapter 2: Basic Background - Where has the “All American” Family Gone? This chapter describes the spiraling phenomenon of divorce in America and cites some scary and saddening statistics regarding this epidemic.

Chapter 3: The Dynamics of Divorce. Outlines the key causal factors of divorce, describes the common phases of divorce, analyzes the psychological fallout which can result, and dissects the actual uncoupling process when couples separate.

Chapter 4: Kids in Crisis. This chapter discusses the children of divorce and how they are affected by their parents’ split. It studies the different impacts of divorce on children of different sexes, ages or stages of development.

Chapter 5: Into the Courtroom. Here I describe how actual court proceedings operate and give some hot tips on how to process your divorce economically and efficiently. These include suggestions on attorney selection criteria and on Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Chapter 6: The Legal Issues. This chapter provides a comprehensive analysis of the substantive legal elements of divorce law. These include: how marital property is divided, alimony, custody, child support, spouse abuse, palimony, paternity, etc.

Chapter 7: Case Histories, Anecdotes, War Stories. Included here are some of our firm’s true life divorce lawyering dramas.

Chapter 8: Life After Divorce. This contains sections on the single parent, new relationships, remarriage, step-families and relations between former spouses.

Chapter 9: Conclusions, Predictions and Prognostications. In this final chapter I attempt to “tie it all together” with a discussion of the societal impacts and long term implications of divorce in America.

Following its publication in 1998, Divorce with Decency went on to win the Hawaii Book Publisher’s Annual Ka Palapala Po’okela Award of Merit for, “Excellence in Guide and Reference Books”. You can get a good overview of the book by visiting the website www.divorcewithdecency.com. I hope that a reading of these excerpts will inspire you to get and read the entire book. And, if you do wind up buying my book, I would love nothing better than to have the opportunity to meet with you personally - both to hear your comments and also to autograph your copy.

Bradley A. Coates, J.D., has been a practicing divorce attorney in Honolulu for over 20 years.  He has been selected as Honolulu's Best Divorce Lawyer and is the founder of Coates & Frey, Hawaii's largest family law firm. This article contains only "general" information and readers should not take any actions based on the "summarized" information contained herein.  Instead, appropriate experts should be consulted for each individual's case and/or fact situation.  Phone: 524-4854 or visit the firm's website at www.coatesandfrey.com.