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Man's Guide to a Civilized Divorce: How to Divorce with Grace, a Little Class, and a Lot of Common Sense Hardcover – July 16, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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About the Author

Sam Margulies is the author of Getting Divorced Without Ruining Your Life. He teaches and practices mediation in Montclair, New Jersey and Greensboro, North Carolina.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (July 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579547990
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579547998
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #716,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A divorce is rarely a pleasant experience. And during the past several decades, more and more Americans are going through just that experience. Many factors are involved in the increase in divorces in the United States, but it seems today that the most common complaint of the spouses involved is that one of the parties to a marriage is no longer happy with the other partner. This is in contrast to the usual complaints in the past of adultery, desertion, abuse, alcoholism, and so forth, which were the main reasons for one of the spouses (usually the wife) to file for a divorce. Since the 1970s and the beginning of the "no-fault" divorce concept, divorces have been easier to obtain and the divorce statistics have risen. But a divorce, regardless of the cause or causes, remains a painful experience for most people.

This book by lawyer and human behavior expert Sam Margulies is primarily for men, hence its title. It is designed as a guidebook for men who may be facing a divorce or thinking about a divorce. Tragic and unpleasant as getting a divorce may be, Margulies argues that it is possible to have a "civilized" divorce without the rancor and pain usually accompanying that process. What? A civilized divorce? Yes, that is exactly what the author proposes and he shows how to go about it through the procedure known as "mediation." The advantage of mediation in a divorce proceeding is that, for the most part, mediation keeps the process largely out of the law courts and generally out of the hands of attorneys who depend on an adversarial method for resolving problems.

According to Margulies, "The divorce mediation movement . . .
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Format: Hardcover
Enjoyable? Yes, believe it or not. Despite the serious and distressing nature of his topic--divorce--Sam Margulies has managed to make his book readable and even entertaining at times. He brings vast experience, knowledge, insight, compassion and sound judgment to this book--and all of these are leavened with his sense of humor. Divorce is painful and the ability to gently evoke a smile is a welcome gift which Margulies possesses. He clears up misunderstandings about divorce and provides clear, step-by-step guidance for divorcing men. As a mental health professional, I have seen the ravages that divorce can bring, especially to children. Margulies' approach leads to a dignified, humane and civilized process that minimizes emotional damage and trauma to everyone, especially the children. Mediation, which Margulies recommends, is also the most cost-effective way of going through a divorce, so the family's assets are preserved. I can't speak highly enough about this book. It is a must-read for any man who wishes to maintain his own dignity and that of his children while going through a divorce.
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Format: Hardcover
The title of this book should be: "The wealthy, middle-aged man's..." The book has good information, but none of the men in any of the examples in this book make less than $100,000/yr, and all of the advice is geared towards men in their late 40's earning 100K+.
[...]
Example: when advising "us" on the costs expected in setting up a new two-bedroom household, the author claims that it could cost $10-15,000 if we play it safe. In other words, 1/4 of my annual income. I must be a financial genius because somehow I was able to do it for about 1,200.

About me: 28, 2 kids, full-time university employeed computer, programming and design professional. (Haven't had time to get that JD, MD or PhD... yet). I should have known this wasn't the book for me when I read on page one that a 28 yr old guy divorcing 3 years into a marriage could more- or- less write it off without financial difficulty. Uh huh.

That said, you can glean the kernel of the book no matter what: wanting the best for your wife's finances and creating a positive working relationship with her are the two best things a man can to do to ensure that, a) your children are happy, and feel safe, b) you don't waste a lot of money on legal fees, and c) you are "civil".
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Format: Hardcover
I am a divorced woman who has an excellent and amicable relationship with my ex-husband. I attribute much of that to Dr. Margulies. He was our divorce mediator. His book as well as his personal input are largely responsible for the positive outcome of our divorce. We saved a great deal of money on legal fees by using a mediator and have retained a cooperative working relationship around our four children.

I am also a medical writer/researcher and medical social worker. I have recommended Dr. Margulies' books to clients going through divorces. They have all benefited from his approach. They have emerged from the difficult transition of divorce with their autonomy, dignity and children intact. I can't speak highly enough of Dr. Margulies and his work.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a single 30 year old woman who can honestly say that this book is very deserving of the excellent ratings it has received thus far. I picked up this book mainly out of curiousity because good friend of mine is contemplating divorce and I thought that the content might prove beneficial. I was very impressed. For starters, I really respect the distinction of the author Sam Margulies. Margulies is a divorce lawyer and not just some woman bashing man off the street. He advises men how to calmly broach the subject and actually manages to tackle different scenarios that could and do occur. I found Marguiles advice on how to communicate with women to be dead on. The book is almost a primer on what happens when John Gray's Men are from Mars Women are from Venus doesn't quite pan out. The writing is relativly succinct and the author is very candid. Let's face it, most men shun the idea of therapy and they have very little help out there aside from friends and family to give them advice. Some men won't even go that route. Some men are too scared to consult a lawyer at first. This book is THE book to read when you have decided that you do want a divorce but are in the stuck position where you are too afraid to move forward and not resigned to staying put. It is probably not the best idea to let your spouse know that you're reading this book. I say this because it can in theory help her make your life more difficult. Definitely worth purchasing. It's like having a portable coach on the subject.
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