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Debrett's Guide to Civilised Separation

Relationship breakdown affects countless numbers of people each year. The combination of stress and emotional and financial upheaval can be overwhelming.

Debrett's, Britain's leading experts on manners and behaviour, has been an authoritative social commentator since 1789. Debrett's has always emphasised that manners help to make the world a calm, comfortable and civilised place. Even in the most difficult of personal situations, courteous and considerate behaviour can help to reduce unnecessary animosity and distress.

Founded in 1937, Mishcon de Reya is a law firm with offices in London and New York offering a wide range of legal services to companies and individuals. The lawyers in the Firm's highly-regarded family department have acted in some of the most high profile and important cases in recent years. Recognising the importance of civility in separation proceedings, in 2009 the Firm lobbied Government for the introduction of national 'Conflict Clinics' as an alternative to the financial and emotional cost of family litigation.

Debrett's has worked with Mishcon de Reya to produce this guide in order to dispel common myths surrounding separation and to provide information and reassurance for those who need it.

Sandra Davis, Head of Family Law at Mishcon de Reya:

There were 231,490 marriages in England and Wales in 2009 and 119,589 divorces 2010, the most recent years for which these statistics are available. Separation rates are even higher for unmarried couples. Many of the estimated 3.8 million children currently caught up in the Family Justice System are the subject of litigation between separated parents.

Clearly relationship breakdown affects countless numbers of people each year and the combination of stress, emotional and financial upheaval for adults and children that results can be overwhelming.

The lawyers in our family department have acted in some of the most high profile and important cases in recent years. Our combined experience has taught us that even in the most difficult of personal situations, courteous and considerate behaviour helps to reduce animosity and distress, particularly for the benefit of their children. This is a view we share with Debrett's and it made them the natural partner to work with and produce the first guide of its type that promotes civility following separation, dispels common myths and provides information and reassurance for those who need it.

Conrad Free, Chairman of Debrett’s Limited:

Relationship breakdowns are an all too sad feature of modern life - one in three marriages between 1995 and 2010 having ended in divorce. However, the impact spreads far beyond the couple involved, with damage and hurt being wreaked on immediate family and all manner of friendships.

At Debrett’s we felt that whilst much has been written and spoken about the practical nature of divorce and separation, there is a paucity of advice when it comes to handling the personal issues associated with what is a major life trauma.

That’s why we – an authority on behaviour – saw Mishcon de Reya – leaders in the field of family law – as the perfect partner with which to produce the first definitive guide to separation and divorce, a book covering both the legal process and behavioural aspects: Debrett’s Guide to Civilised Separation

We are delighted to have produced a book which is informative, practical and, above all else, helpful to those people going through what is a painful process. We cover not just the common courtesy and cooperation that should be associated with separation, but deal with how you handle ex-partners, the impact on children and maintaining civilised relationships with former in-laws and friends. Ultimately, we’re trying to help people through a step by step process in what can be an emotional minefield.

We think Debrett’s Guide to Civilised Separation is different and satisfies a need for those that require guidance and advice in what can be one of the most sensitive issues they will face in their lives.

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