Update & Overview on My Book
Special to the Oahu Island News
As many of my longtime readers know, about five years ago I wrote a book: Divorce
with Decency: The Complete How-To Handbook and Survivor's Guide to the
Legal, Emotional, Economic, and Social Issues.
The University of Hawaii Press published the book in 1998 and it
was released nationwide that same year. The book became very popular and I
was flattered when it went on to win the Hawaii Book Publisher's Annual Ka
Palapala Po'okela Award of Merit for Excellence in Guide and Reference
Divorce with Decency is intended to be an up-to-date, informative
yet highly readable (and occasionally amusing) overview of the entire
divorce process. In my (not
so) humble opinion, it is the most comprehensive treatment of the legal,
emotional, economic, and social aspects of divorce available anywhere in a
Ever since the release of Divorce with Decency, I've done quite a
bit of public speaking, including several radio and T.V. appearances, all
of which center around the book. Audience
questions (especially from those who have read and enjoyed the book) are
often about two topics. First,
folks want to know more background about how I came to write the book.
And second, they often ask for a synopsis describing the key topics
and primary focus of the book. Thus,
I've decided to devote my next couple of columns to providing a brief
refresher course on the theories, themes and key substantive topics
contained in the book.
The first few sections of Divorce with Decency look
at the dynamics of divorce. They include the causal factors and the common
"stages" from initial separation onward, and the complications
surrounding each for the couples and children.
Important information on spouse abuse (often absent from divorce
guides), is also included within the book.
I then discuss the key criteria in selecting an attorney, and give advice
on directing and monitoring the course of a case efficiently and
economically. A detailed
discussion of the critical legal issues is provided, followed by case
histories highlighting key points of divorce law.
Finally, the section "Life After Divorce" looks at the newly
divorced as they face single parenthood, new relationships, remarriage,
and various other after shocks.
The tone of Divorce with Decency is targeted to cover advanced
scholarly and legalistic material (but in layman's terms).
As such, the book continues to prove indispensable to anyone
involved in a divorce, whether directly or indirectly.
Lawyers, social workers, marriage counselors, psychologists,
psychiatrists, and other professionals have found it a useful and a
concise reference for both themselves and their clients. Finally, since the writing style stays on the lighter side
and is buttressed with cartoons and drawings (by prominent Honolulu
artists John Pritchett and Charles Valoroso) and pithy quotations, the
book is an enjoyable read in its own right.
It has been well received for its almost Dave Barry-style of ironic
humor and empathy with its intended audience, by anyone who has ever been
bounced along the rocky road of divorce.
In view of the fact that many of the subjects covered in Divorce with
Decency were originally spun off from the various research and
writing projects which commenced initially with my writings for this
newspaper column, I thought some of my loyal readers might find this bit
of background to be interesting. You
can also get a good overview of the book by visiting the website: www.divorcewithdecency.com.
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.