Debrett"s releases guide to divorcing with decorum

The Debrett's Guide to Divorce: Etiquette bible's new rules on how to keep separations civil
'Courteous and considerate
behaviour can help to reduce unnecessary animosity and distress'

Divorce was once so frowned upon that separations were hidden away by families and certainly never mentioned in company.

Today, one in three marriages ends in divorce and in a clear sign of the changing times Debrett's – the advisers on good manners since 1769 – is publishing a guide on how to split with style.

The etiquette experts, whose guide to the peerage is still read avidly by social climber, have teamed up with divorce lawyers Mishcon de Reya, who represented Diana, Princess of Wales, to produce the book.

Advice: Refrain from venting your feeling on your ex-partner's clothes

Advice: Refrain from venting your feeling on your ex-partner's clothes

The 12.99 guide goes on sale on February 29 – the day when women can traditionally propose to men

A blurb for the 12.99 book, reads: '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.

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

It comes at a time when divorce rates are on rise once again. Divorces had been falling steadily since 2003, when there were 153,065 cases. However, in 2010 there were 119,589 divorces, which was up on the 113,949 divorces the year before. Fifty years before there had been only 23,868.

The book includes such pearls of wisdom such as resisting 'throwing your husband's vintage wine collection down the loo', because while the gesture provides temporary relief from hurt and anger it 'can rebound on you and undermine your case.'

The 12.99 guide goes on sale on February 29 - the day when women can traditionally propose to men

The 12.99 guide goes on sale on February 29 – the day when women can traditionally propose to men

The guide gives advice on how to break the new to friends and colleagues and warns against dangers such as becoming a 'divorce bore' who will find themselves 'struck off the dinner-party guest list.'

Those who are worried about how they may behave in public should take along a 'minder' to make sure they don't imbibe too much alcohol.

It adds that divorcees should strive to maintain a polite relationship with in-laws and their former partner's friends and send 'friendly Christmas cards.'

Conrad Free, the chairman of Debrett's, told the Independent on Sunday:
'We're trying to help people through a step-by-step process in what can
be an emotional minefield.'

Sandra Davis, the head of family law at Mishcon de Reya, added: 'Even
in the most difficult of personal situations, courteous and considerate
behaviour helps to reduce animosity and distress.'

With the average cost of ending a marriage through the British courts costing around 13,000, many former partners might conclude the guide is one worth investing in.