How to have a civilised divorce

Monday, January 23, 2012
How to have a civilised divorce

Ever wondered if burning your estranged husband's clothes was really the best way to deal with your divorce?

Wonder no longer — British etiquette experts Debrett's have stepped in to answer all your split-related questions, publishing a comprehensive handbook entitled A guide to civilised divorce.

Related: The five arguments that can destroy your relationship

The book — which was co-written by divorce lawyers Mishcon de Raya, who handled Princess Diana's split — covers every aspect of a marital breakdown, from how to tell friends and family to post-divorce behaviour.

It also provides advice on navigating the pitfalls of family weddings and other big occasions, integrating any new partners into your life and helping your children adjust to their new family life.

"Even in the most difficult of personal situations — when emotional and financial upheaval can be overwhelming — courteous and considerate behaviour can help to reduce unnecessary animosity and distress," a blurb for the book reads.

"This guide will dispel common myths surrounding separation and provide information and reassurance for those who need it."

The tome includes handy tips including not "throwing your husband's vintage wine collection down the loo" and continuing to send "friendly Christmas cards" to your former in-laws and your ex-partner's close friends.

Trash-talking your ex in public is another big no-no — instead, try to maintain a dignified silence.

Related: Unwed couples 'happier' then married ones

"Even though it is an immense effort, exercise self-control when out in public, be calm and non-committal about your feelings, and never speak negatively about your ex," the book advises.

"Long tales about legal battles, dastardly financial dealings and flaming rows will soon have you struck off the dinner-party guest list, unless told with humour and self-deprecation."

Your say: How did you deal with your divorce?

Video: Heidi Klum to divorce Seal?

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