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Debrett's 12.99 pounds guide to offer tips on 'divorcing with decorum'

London, Sun, 22 Jan 2012 ANI

London, Jan 22 (ANI): Chroniclers of the posh since 1769, have teamed up with a leading divorce lawyer to create a guide to "civilised separation".


Debrett's, who worked with Mishcon de Reya, who represented Diana, Princess of Wales, was a small publishing house that has expanded into handbooks on etiquette, such as their popular "guide to the season".


The guide, which will be published next month at 12.99 pounds, has provided essential reading for generations of social climbers.


The idea is to help warring couples maintain some decorum and good manners in the usually uncivilised business of divorce.


In addition to making statements of the bleeding obvious, the book offers practical information about the process of divorce, and tips on how to break the news to friends and colleagues.


It gives a warning against the dangers of becoming a "divorce bore", as one even risks being "struck off the dinner-party guest list".


Consistent with the main point of social etiquette, which is to make life as agreeable as possible for everyone at all times, the new guide states that being "relentlessly polite and civilised" will "defuse any fall-out" among family and friends.


It advises "friendly Christmas cards" to the in-laws and estranged friends as "nobody will be able to fault your good manners."


The guide also urges people to take a "minder" along when attending events where their ex will be, to monitor their "behaviour, alcohol intake and emotions".


As for "correct forms of address", the guide adopts a traditional line, reminding women that convention dictates keeping "Mrs" and their married surname, but using their own forename. It makes allowances for younger women to revert to their maiden name.


"We're trying to help people through a step-by-step process in what can be an emotional minefield," the Independent quoted Conrad Free, the chairman of Debrett's as saying.


One woman whose divorce came through this month said it was not a civilised affair.


"Going through the process of divorce was incredibly difficult. We hardly ever communicate, and if we do, it's through text message," Karen Hopkin, a 46-year-old mother of one from Folkestone, Kent, said.


"Books like Debrett's would have helped me cope with my new life, but it needs to be a shared process. If your partner isn't willing then it doesn't really work," she added. (ANI)


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