Divorce With Decency – The Second Edition Hits Shelves

By Bradley A. Coates, J.D.

    I’ve been doing quite a bit of public speaking lately, including several radio and TV appearances centering around the release of the second edition of my award-wining book, “Divorce with Decency: The Complete How-To Handbook and Survivor’s Guide to the Legal, Emotional, Economic, and Social Issues.” Some of the same folks who regularly read this column have told me they also listen to my “Topical Tuesdays” morning drive talk radio programs on KQMQ. Audience questions often seem to center around three primary themes.

    First, folks want to know more background about how I wound up writing the book. Secondly, they request a synopsis describing the book’s key topics and primary focus. Third, they want to know which are the key elements of this second edition that received “new and improved” revisions since the book’s First Edition was originally published. Thus, I’ve decided to devote my next couple columns to providing a brief refresher course on the theories, topics, themes and key updates contained in the second edition.

    The first edition was published in 1998 by the University of Hawaii Press and was released nationwide. The second edition, also published by the University of Hawaii Press, was released Spring 2004. Both volumes contain up-to-date, informative yet highly readable (and occasionally amusing) overviews 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 single volume.

    The book’s first sections look at the dynamics of divorce including the causal factors and the common stages from initial separation onward, and the complications surrounding each for older and younger couples and children. Important information on spouse abuse (often absent from divorce guides) is also included. The book discusses key criteria in selecting an attorney and gives 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, “Divorce with Decency” has proved to be extremely valuable 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 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 Hawaii 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 fact, the first edition of “Divorce With Decency” won the Hawaii Book Publisher’s Award of Merit for Excellence in Guide and Reference Books. The second edition seems to have been equally well received.

    Some of the highlights of the fully revised and updated second edition include “tons” of new material on the legal, psychological and sociological aspects of divorce. Significant amounts of additional research, statistics, demographic and other data have also been included. Readers can get a more detailed overview of the book by visiting www.divorcewithdecency.com.

    Bradley A. Coates, J.D., has been a practicing divorce attorney in Honolulu for more than 25 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. Contact Coates & Frey at (808)524-4854. Also visit the firm’s website at www.coatesandfrey.com.