Suggested Resources

There are countless books and websites with information on divorce and related issues. Their quality and usefulness varies widely. Use discretion and don’t assume that all the information you found in a popular book on divorce, or a divorce website, is correct, much less helpful. In creating the following list, I have focused on resources which take a balanced approach to divorce, encourage couples to resolve their differences with their dignity and integrity intact, and place their children’s interests ahead of their own. Avoid web sites or books which promote conflict, encourage battle, or have a personal or political ax to grind. Divorce is a complicated issue, and few families’ problems are resolved by simplistic, one-dimensional answers.

Here are a few of the best. Don’t be put off by the fact that some of them were written in the 1990’s. Divorce dynamics don’t change, even if they are being played out through different technology.

Books

General Divorce

How to Avoid the Divorce from Hell (and dance together at your daughter’s wedding) by M. Sue Talia
(Third Edition 2016) Nexus Publishing Company

This is one of the best guidebooks out there for avoiding the common or inadvertent mistakes that often make divorce much more traumatic and adversarial than it needs to be.

The Good Divorce: Keeping Your Family Together when Your Marriage Comes Apart by Constance Ahrons, Ph.D.
(1994) Harper Collins

Yes, it can be done. Connie Ahrons’s thorough research and clear writing made this an instant classic.

For Better or For Worse: Divorce Reconsidered
by Mavis Hetherington and John Kelley (2002) Norton

This book is the result of the largest study of divorce in America and debunks many common divorce myths.

Getting Divorced Without Ruining Your Life by Sam Margulies, Ph.D., J.D.
(1992) Fireside

This is a practical guide to the legal, emotional, and financial issues involved in divorce negotiations.

Between Love & Hate by Lois Gold, M.S.W.
(1992) Plenum Press

Lois Gold has provided one of the best and most balanced divorce handbooks. It offers excellent insight into the psychology of divorce and realistic use of the legal process.

Conscious Divorce: Ending a Marriage with Integrity by Susan Allison
(2001) Random House

The author takes readers through each step of divorce from a healing and spiritual perspective.

Crazy Time: Surviving Divorce and Building a New Life by Abigail Trafford
(1992) Harper

One of the first, and still an excellent resource.

Children and Divorce

The Truth about Children and Divorce: Dealing with the Emotions So You and Your Children can Thrive by Robert E. Emery, Ph.D.
(2004) Penguin Books

Thoughtful and constructive, this book is well researched and written. Note particularly the Children’s Bill of Rights on page 83, and Chapter 6 on why mediation is the best resolution option.

Putting Kids First: Walking Away from a Marriage Without Walking Over the Kids by Michael Oddenino
(1995) Family Connections Publishing

The author is an attorney for the Children’s Rights Council, and tells it like it is.

Good Parenting Through Your Divorce by Mary Ellen Hannibal
(2002) Marlowe & Company

Kid’s Turn is a popular counseling program in Northern California which has helped thousands of kids cope with their parents’ divorce. This book is based on the Kid’s Turn program. The author distinguishes different techniques based on the age and developmental level of the children. It is also filled with examples of good and not so good ways to handle co-parenting issues.

We’re Still Family: What Grown Children Have to Say About Their Parents’ Divorce by Constance Ahrons, Ph.D.
(2004) Harper Collins

Based on a twenty-year landmark study, this book shines a spotlight on the disparity between what parents think their children think about divorce, and how they really experience it, in the words of the adult children of divorce.

Why Did You Have to Get a Divorce (and when can I get a hamster?) by Anthony E. Wolf, Ph.D.
(1995) Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Common sense and practical, this is filled with explanatory examples of common situations.

Co-Parenting After Divorce

Parents Are Forever: a step-by-step guide to becoming successful co-parents after divorce by Shirley Thomas, Ph.D.
(1995) Springboard Publications

This is the classic co-parenting book, still a great resource.

Two Happy Homes by Shirley Thomas, Ph.D.
(2005) Springboard Publications

The sequel to Parents are Forever. Both are available at www.parentsareforever.org

Families Apart: Ten Keys to Successful Co-Parenting by Melinda Blau
(1993) G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Full of sage advice for establishing a working co-parenting system and avoiding common pitfalls that will negatively impact the children, this book is a great resource.

Making Divorce Easier on Your Child: 50 Effective Ways to Help Children Adjust by Nicholas Long, Ph.D. and Rex Forehand, Ph.D.
(2002) Contemporary Books

There really are 50 effective techniques. The list of resources is fantastic.

Ex-Etiquette for Parents: Good Behavior After a Divorce or Separation by Jann Blackstone Ford and Sharyl Jupe
(2004) Chicago Review Press

The authors are the current and former wife of the same man. They’ve been there, and know what works and what doesn’t. This book is full of practical advice for how to handle the inevitable issues blended families create. Find it at www.bonusfamilies.org

Joint Custody With a Jerk: Raising a Child with an Uncooperative Ex by Julie A. Ross and Judy Corcoran
(1996) St. Martin’s Griffin

This is filled with practical suggestions for successful co-parenting, even if conditions aren’t ideal.

Divorce and New Beginnings: An Authoritative Guide to Recovery and Growth, Solo Parenting, and Stepfamilies by Genevieve Clapp, Ph.D.
(1992) John Wiley & Sons

There is an excellent section on divorce from the child’s perspective. It is a good resource for information on single parenting and blended families.

Mom’s House, Dad’s House: Making Shared Custody Work by Isolina Ricci
(1980) Collier Books/Macmillan

This set the standard for joint custody books for a generation.

Resources for Children

Divorced But Still My Parents by Shirley Thomas, Ph.D. and Dorothy Rankin
(1998) Springboard Publications

Shirley Thomas, author of the classic Parents are Forever collaborated on this handbook aimed at children ages 6 to 12. It has interactive worksheets and helpful techniques tailored to the development stages of childhood. Children under 9 would benefit from this book being read to them by a parent. Get it at www.parentsareforever.com Get a copy for each of your children so they don’t need to share.

Dinosaurs Divorce, a Guide for Changing Families by L. & M. Brown
(1986) Street Books/Little, Brown & Company

The classic divorce books for kids.

Two Homes to Live In, a Child’s-Eye View of Divorce by B. Hazen
(1983) Human Sciences Press/Plenum

This is one of the best for kids under 6.

Moving On after Divorce

Life After Divorce by Sharon Wegsheider-Cruse
(1994) Health Communications, Inc.

Full of practical tools for healing and moving on.

Men on Divorce: Conversations with Ex-Husbands by Ellie Wymard
(1994) Hay House

Few books focus on the men’s perspective. This one does.

Online Resources

Divorce Information located at www.divorceinfo.com
(This is the best overall divorce information website.)

Divorce Helpline located at www.divorcehelp.com
(California specific, but with good information)

Up To Parents located at www.uptoparents.org
(This is a great interactive resource for working out joint goals for your kids.)

Your Social Worker at www.yoursocialworker.com
(Common sense articles about many divorce issues)

Bonus Families at www.bonusfamilies.com
(Lots of useful information for step parents and integrating families.)

Our Family Wizard at www.ourfamilywizard.com
(This is a terrific resource for coordinating schedules for kids.)

Co-Parenting at www.parentsareforever.org
(Anything Shirley Thomas does is bound to be helpful.)