This is the title of Mr. Coates’ now famous family law textbook. This book, which publishes its 4th Edition in 2012 has sold thousands of copies and received rave reviews from clients and family law professionals alike. Upon its release, it won the Hawaii Book Publisher’s Award of Merit for Best Guide and Reference Book.
HONOLULU — Are you going through a divorce and want to arrive alive at the end of the process? Or do you want to avoid a divorce altogether and bring back the romance in your relationship?
There’s a book out there that may help you: “Divorce and Decency: The Complete How To Handbook and Survivor’s Guide to the Legal, Emotional, Economic and Social Issues.”
The book, authored by Honolulu attorney Bradley Coates, is a combination of “Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus,” “Everything you Wanted to Know About Divorce But Were Afraid to Ask,” “Divorce for Dummies,” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” states a news release.
The book was first published by the University of Hawai‘i Press in 1999, and its last updated version was in 2008.
The UH Press has recently released the book’s fourth edition, which is 40 percent larger than its previous edition.
“There is a ton of new stuff to share in this edition which takes into consideration, our ever-changing society and values, the evolution of the Internet … the changing roles of men and women in the workforce and much more,” Coates said in a news release.
“The book has evolved and grown since its last printing as I have now incorporated some of the most popular material I use in my recent lectures, teaching and public speaking engagements.”
Coates says his goal was to combine all aspects of marital and other romantic relationships into one single and comprehensive publication.
“If buying a $20 book can save a marriage and right the ship, then for that couple it was a much better investment than paying $250 an hour — the going rate of family law attorneys — to sink the ship, if you will,” he said.
Despite making a “good living” as a divorce attorney, Coates said he has always tried to approach it from a “sensitive and positive” perspective.
“I take my job and the subject of divorce very seriously, but after three decades of working as a divorce attorney addressing very sensitive and difficult issues with couples and families I have learned to deal with it as a fact of life and have found that a little humor can be therapeutic to all involved,” he said.
Readers will find in this book some serious subjects addressed head-on, but will also find a lighter side to help going through a traumatic time, according to Coates, who said that hopefully, people will be able to deal a bit more realistically and positively with what they are experiencing.
The evolution of social media in this digital society is a total “game changer,” said Coates, adding it’s estimated that approximately 20 percent of all divorce petitions now reference evidence of spousal misbehavior obtained from Facebook.
“Social media sites are an ‘evidentiary goldmine’ for turning up incriminating evidence — and that is definitely something to (re)consider before posting that ‘harmless fun’ photo from Vegas,” he said.
More new trends shared in the book’s newest edition show the progression from the male dominated work-force economy becoming more balanced, mainly due to what Coates calls the rise of the “Sheconomy.” Twenty-two percent of all women are now the breadwinners in their household. In one-third of all marriages, the wife is better educated. More women are in higher-paying management positions and their changing attitudes towards traditional “marital roles” are yet another sign of the times. Not surprisingly, he said, two thirds of all divorces nowadays are filed by the wives.
In more than 30 years working in the divorce business, Coates said he has seen more than his share of changes, and this book’s version is the most current and comprehensive “how to” guide on divorce imaginable — complete with all the New Age nuances.
Coates describes a “do-it-yourself spouse tracker” for cheating spouses, as well as websites specifically designed to encourage cheating spouses. There are chapters on the impact of the exploding proliferation of pornography in society and on the new civil unions law.
Bottom line: It’s a whole new ball game out there nowadays, and “Divorce with Decency” is the “perfect road map” to help people navigate this tricky terrain, Coates said.
“I have had more than a few people tell me the book ‘saved their marriage’ … as a result of reading this unique book,” said Coates, adding hat he may be working himself out of a job.
William Hamilton, from the UH Press, said that he rarely, if ever, sees a book attempt to do so much under one cover.
Many of Coates’ professional colleagues have also praised the book.
Retired Judge Michael Town, the former senior judge of Hawai‘i’s Family Court, provided the cover quote. He said the book “is far more than just a divorce book, it’s an all-encompassing survey of love, marriage and romantic relationships in modern life.”
“With the amount of experience and the number of divorce cases that Brad has worked on — we estimate over 20,000 having come through our office during the last three decades — I can safely say this is probably the most comprehensive book in the country on all aspects of relationships and divorce,” said P. Gregory Frey, Coates’ long-time law partner.