Chicago, IL - Divorce is an all-too-common reality in our world today, with more than half of all African-American marriages in the U.S. now ending in divorce. A new book by prominent Chicago African-American family attorney Lester L. Barclay examines this state of affairs and offers solutions to minimize the after effects of divorce. The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama: Breaking Up Without Breaking Down provides strategies to weather divorce more gracefully, causing less drama and disruption for all parties touched by this stressful life event, especially for the children.
"Though partners may fail at marriage, they need not also fail at divorce," counsels Attorney Barclay. He notes the unique cultural components underlying most African-American divorces and separations. These black cultural and social factors often exacerbate the "drama" of divorce in the black cultural experience:
• The reluctance of some black people to seek or submit to mental health therapy for themselves or their children
• The very significant role of African-American churches and ministers in the lives and experiences of many divorce litigants, a role acknowledged by many judges
• The high unemployment rate among black men, a cultural and social reality affecting child support payments which often must be spread to multiple children of different mothers
• The high rate of black male incarceration that impacts relationships, marriages, divorce and child-related issues
• Domestic violence and abuse among African-Americans that is unreported or insufficiently dealt with by authorities and that affects the emotional state and best interests of children
• A matriarchal family structure in the African-American experience, where black women disproportionately lead families and shoulder responsibilities
• Parents or step-parents who typically discipline children by spanking or other corporal techniques while showing strong support, compassion and love
• Divorce matters disrupting extended family relationships, impacting in-laws, friendships and social gatherings
• A judicial system that may manifest biases against non-white litigants and litigators
• Limited knowledge of or access to culturally competent legal representation in the divorce process
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 purpose of this book has always been to empower black folk to successfully navigate through what is often among the most trying times of their lives," says Barclay. "While there are many services that help prepare couples for marriage, the same does not hold true on the opposite end. I want to use this as an opportunity to get the message of finding a better path directly to the people who need it most and meet them where they are."
"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," says 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 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.