Chicago, IL - With more than half of all African-American marriages in the U.S. now ending in divorce, helpful guidance for those considering divorce is needed now more than ever. The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama: Breaking Up Without Breaking Down, a new book by prominent Chicago African-American family attorney Lester L. Barclay, provides a roadmap for those going through separation and divorce. One of the topics the book addresses is how to prepare once you're ready to divorce.
"Once you've determined the marriage is over, then the really tough part begins," said Barclay. "You'll need support to deal with the impending drama and emotional minefield ahead." Based on his years of experience working with African-American clients, Barclay has come up with these eight tips to help individuals pursue a "No-Drama" Divorce:
1) Pause to review what marriage means to you: Barclay encourages his clients to take a marital inventory of themselves and their spouse before deciding to divorce, considering what they have to gain or to lose.
2) Get a good personal counselor: There is an array of family and marriage counselors, trained therapists and licensed and certified practitioners from which to choose. Some even choose to speak with their minister for counsel. Get a referral, if necessary, to find someone you trust.
3) Retain a culturally competent attorney: Seek a good, culturally sensitive attorney to handle your divorce. It's a myth that African-Americans receive inferior representation from African-American lawyers. The bottom line is to choose a reputable attorney that you trust.
4) Execute a "Power of Attorney" (POA): This legal instrument gives you a voice in court through someone on your behalf. Execute the POA on the front end, at the same time you sign the retainer and lodge your divorce complaint. Give the POA authority to someone you trust to make good decisions on your behalf.
5) Find additional emotional support: Besides professional counselors, don't forget about others, such as friends and associates, who may be able to offer support and advice.
6) Open yourself to spiritual insight and foresight: Sometimes men and women of God can see roots in your life you never knew were there. A good counselor or minister can help you navigate the roadblocks that lie ahead so you can shape your future in a meaningful way.
7) Resist intrusive individuals: Word of caution - don't give any person the exclusive right to pry into your personal affairs. If you need support and want to share some of your innermost feelings, find someone who's trustworthy. Don't buy into the uninvited divorce conversation or allow others to pry into your privacy.
8) Look before you leap: Don't separate and leave your spouse too soon. Unless your situation is threatening, it's better to endure a bad living situation until you've thoroughly considered arrangements to support the best interests of you and your children.
The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama: Breaking Up Without Breaking Down is a comprehensive book on divorce tailored to the black community. This detailed guide skillfully shepherds readers through the often painful process of separation and divorce while seeking to minimize the drama for them and their children.
"The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama: Breaking up without Breaking Down is just what most attorneys who handle such cases have been waiting for to serve as a reference for clients about to go through this experience of divorce or separation," said E. Faye Williams, MPA, Ph.D., D.Min., Esq., National Chair, National Congress of Black Women, Inc. "Thank you for this great guide. If followed, it will save couples a lot of heartache, indecision and money!"
The groundbreaking tools and information provided in The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama: Breaking Up Without Breaking Down serve as supplements to the services provided by divorce attorneys and have been created to show readers how to make the divorce process as peaceful as possible. Regardless of where readers are in the divorce process, Barclay reminds them that it's not too late to impact the outcome and the long-term effects the process will have on the children involved.
The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama: Breaking Up Without Breaking Down, is distributed to chain and independent bookstores, wholesalers, libraries, the gift and specialty markets and online retailers through Small Press United and is also available in hardcover and as an ebook from Khari Publishing, Ltd., at http://www.divorceanddrama.com.
About The Author
Lester L. Barclay is the managing partner of the Barclay Law Group in Chicago, Illinois. A graduate of Oberlin College and Case Western Reserve University School of Law, he has practiced matrimonial law since 1985. In that time, he has earned a sterling reputation as a skilled litigator who seeks to maintain the family's integrity during and after divorce.
In addition to his law practice, Barclay is a legal advocate for the disadvantaged and a helpful mentor to young attorneys. He also has been actively involved in civic affairs, serving as president of both the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture and the Christian Community Health Center in Chicago, and he is a member of the Illinois African-American Family Commission.
His passionate calling is to help children who are so often the collateral damage in custody and divorce matters. Frequently, the court appoints him guardian ad litem to protect the interests of children in marital breakups.
Lester L. Barclay lives in Chicago with his wife, Dr. Sue Barclay, and their three children.