(reviews are a compilation from various attorneys from around the country and Bob’s own reviews).
General Books to Help Parties Through Separation/Divorce
CRAZY TIME: SURVIVING DIVORCE & BUILDING A NEW LIFE
BY ABIGAIL TRAFFORD
This is a classic, recognized for more than 15 years as the essential guidebook for getting through divorce. Trafford is compassionate, articulate, and ever so savvy about the crud people go through when they have to deal with divorce.
THE GOOD DIVORCE
BY CONSTANCE R. AHRONS
A classic but just as relevant now as ever. She focuses on changing our fundamental concept of divorce from "breaking up the family" to "redefining the family." Ahrons is credited with coining the term "binuclear family."
DIVORCE FOR DUMMIES
BY JOHN VENTURA & MARY REED
One attorneys review: “Don't let the title fool you. The dummies are the ones paying their lawyers thousands of dollars and losing control of their divorce. It's the smart people who are reading books like this so they can think strategically, stay in control, and move on with their lives after divorce. Includes useful sections on helping your lawyer to help you, what to expect in a divorce trial, and how to deal with the toughest post-divorce problems.”
DIVORCE AND MONEY: HOW TO MAKE THE BEST FINANCIAL DECISIONS DURING DIVORCE
BY VIOLET WOODHOUSE
This is packed with solid, practical, usable information to help couples separating and divorcing face the tough financial decisions they will have to make. This book is more expensive than most, but nonetheless is recommended.
YOUR POCKET DIVORCE GUIDE
BY LINDA C. SENN
This is a nice, approachable, compact, non-technical handbook. A simple, practical guidance on the gut issues couples face when splitting up. Less than 100 pages long, this book focuses on the esoteric (maintaining spiritual health through communing with nature) and the eminently practical (exactly what utensils you need to start over again in the kitchen).
BY CRAIG EVERETT AND SANDRA VOLGY EVERETT.
Includes helpful advice on that subject with a step-by-step examination of the entire divorce experience. The authors take us from "Early Warning Signs" through "Living in a Blended Family Network," providing an excellent guide through the emotional and legal issues of divorce and its aftermath. They strongly recommend mediation and include advice on how to make the most of the mediation experience.
YOUR DIVORCE ADVISOR: A LAWYER AND A PSYCHOLOGIST GUIDE YOU THROUGH THE LEGAL AND EMOTIONAL LANDSCAPE OF DIVORCE.
BY DIANA MERCER, ESQ., AND MARSHA KLINE PRUETT, PH.D., M.S.L.
A easy to read guide to practical legal and emotional aspects of divorce. One of my favorite books for clients.
Preparing for Mediation
THE DIVORCE MEDIATION HANDBOOK. PAULA JAMES.
This book will give you a thorough overview of the mediation process, help you prepare for your first session, and help you find a mediator.
THE VERBALLY ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP,
BY PAT EVANS.
She uses the word, 'abusive' as a synonym for 'control'.
"Parents' Commitment . . ." exercise at www.proudtoparent.org (for unmarried, separating parents) or www.uptoparents.org (for divorcing parents). It's a free program for participants.
Written For Women But Equally Relevant To Men
CUTTING LOOSE: WHY WOMEN WHO END THEIR MARRIAGES DO SO WELL
BY ASHTON APPLEWHITE
This book contains heroic, sometimes mundane, sometimes inspiring stories of women who have survived divorce. Applewhite is unabashed in her support of divorce as the correct choice for women locked in bad marriages. This book is recommended particularly for women who have been living with an abusive man. But at least one attorney gives it to his male friends and clients who are newlyweds or about to get married to give them a new perspective on marriage.
WHAT EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DIVORCE AND CUSTODY: JUDGES, LAWYERS, AND THERAPISTS SHARE WINNING STRATEGIES ON HOW TO KEEP THE KIDS, THE CASH, AND YOUR SANITY
BY GAYLE ROSENWALD SMITH, J.D., AND SALLY ABRAHMS
This is a sensible, sensitive, and pragmatic book. It is just as useful for men as for women. It includes sections entitled "Hot-button Issues," "The Girlfriend in His Bed," "Having Your Child Travel Alone," and "Smoking, Drugs, Drinking, Gambling, and Other Addictions."
HOW TO AVOID THE DIVORCE FROM HELL, AND DANCE TOGETHER AT YOUR DAUGHTER'S WEDDING
BY M. SUE TALIA
Sue Talia has been a successful divorce lawyer in California. It's intelligent, compassionate, thoughtful, and above all, readable.
FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHILDREN.
KRIS KLINE AND STEPHEN PEW, PH.D.
A mother who spent years in custody litigation writes about how to avoid her mistakes. Includes advice about how to deal civilly with your former spouse, your children's new step-parent, your old in-laws, and your own mother. The authors offer practical advice on dealing day-to-day with people with whom you may be angry but must nevertheless include in the lives of your children, as well as special occasions such as weddings, graduations, and birthdays. Their emphasis is on not damaging, and even fostering, your children's relationship with those members of the family that you would just as soon be rid of.
MOM'S HOUSE, DAD'S HOUSE: A COMPLETE GUIDE FOR PARENTS WHO ARE SEPARATED, DIVORCED, OR LIVING APART.
BY DR. ISOLINA RICCI.
An excellent detailed and practical guide that explains the emotions and issues of children in divorce. The author emphasizes the importance of both parents' making real homes for their children and focusing on parenting roles and their children's best interests
PARENTING THROUGH DIVORCE: THE LASTING EFFECTS,
BY TODD, KAREN AND NANCY BARROS AND
THE UNEXPECTED LEGACY OF DIVORCE,
BY JUDITH WALLERSTEIN,
These two books provide caution and comfort to parents going through divorce. Wallesntein’s book is a sequel to her 1989 study, Second Chances: Men, Women and Children, A Decade After Divorce. Bottom line is, if the parents act like adults, put the interests of the kids first and can effectively co-parent, then the children will come out fine. But if not…
WHO WILL TAKE THE CHILDREN? A NEW CUSTODY OPTION FOR DIVORCING MOTHERS AND FATHERS.
SUSAN MEYERS AND JOAN LAKIN..
If you're a mother and considering an agreement in which your children's father provides their primary care, you'll be interested in this account of other women who have made the same decision. According to the authors, the vast majority of these mothers believe they were better parents as a result of their decision and that it was best for them and their children. The authors also describe the social pressures on women making this choice and provide support for women who do. Was published in 1983 so the subject is not “new”.
GETTING OVER IT! THE RULES OF THE ROAD EVEN WHEN THE BUMPS ARE THE BOULDERS
VICKI LANSKY'S DIVORCE BOOK FOR PARENTS
A very readable, comprehensive book. Detailed and age-specific information about how children react to divorce and how to make it easier for them.
WHAT EVERY CHILD WOULD LIKE PARENTS TO KNOW ABOUT DIVORCE
BY DR. LEE SALK.
A psychiatrist talks to parents about the emotional issues their children encounter when the parents divorce. Quite readable. I particularly liked his chapter on "What to Tell Your Child"–excellent material to review before explaining to your children that you're divorcing.
GROWING UP DIVORCED
BY LINDA FRANCKE.
This book describes, by age-group, the emotional issues children face when their parents divorce. Provides valuable advice on helping your children understand divorce.
THE NURTURING FATHER
BY KYLE D. PRUETT, M.D..
A child psychiatrist reports on his study of families in which fathers are the primary caretakers of young children. He found these children to be emotionally healthy and even precocious and concludes that they do especially well because both parents are strongly involved with their children.
FAMILIES APART – TENB KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL CO-PARENTING
BY MELINDA BLAU
GOOD PARENTING THROUGH YOUR DIVORCE
BY MARY ELLEN HANNIBAL
HELPING CHILDREN SURVIVE DIVORCE – What to Expect; How to Help
BY DR. ARCHIBALD D. HART
THE DIVORCED PARENT
BY STEPHANIE MARSTON.
Marston gives good and detailed advice on what you can do when your ex-spouse is impossible, how to handle money matters in your divorce and afterwards, and how to re-build your life after divorce.
THE PARENTS BOOK ABOUT DIVORCE
BY RICHARD A. GARDNER, M.D.,
Inexpensive book divided into seven areas with many subareas in each: 1. Contemplating Divorce, 2. Telling the Children, 3. Early Post-Separation Adjustment, 4. Dealing with Children’s Post-separation Problems, 5. Common Parental Difficulties that Contribute to Children’s Post-separation Maladjustments, 6. The Children’s Involvement with Others, and 7. Concluding Comments.
DIVORCED FAMILIES: A MULTIDISCIPLINARY DEVELOPMENTAL VIEW.
BY CONSTANCE AHRONS.
The author categorizes divorcing couples in descending order as "perfect pals," "cooperative colleagues," "angry associates," and "fiery foes," with advice as to how to end up in the positive categories rather than the negative ones.
CHILDREN OF DIVORCE; A DEVELOPMENTAL APPROACH TO RESIDENCE AND VISITATION,
BY MITCHELL A. BARIS, PH.D., AND CARLA B. GARRITY, PH.D., THAT DISCUSSES THE DEVELOPMENTAL NEEDS OF CHILDREN OF VARIOUS AGES. USEFUL FOR DEVELOPING AGE SPECIFIC PARENTING PLANS.
TWO HOMES TO LIVE IN: A CHILD'S EYE VIEW OF DIVORCE.
BY BARBARA SHOOK HAZEN.
I like this depiction of a small child's experience of divorce–the sadness, the parental reassurances, and the acceptance.
101 WAYS TO BE A LONG-DISTANCE SUPER DAD . . OR MOM, TOO! George Newman A neat book for non-custodial parents who live a distance away from their children.
SHARING THE CHILDREN.
ROBERT E. ADLER, PH.D.
Dr. Adler gives detailed and readable advice on how to work out a divorce with your spouse and build a workable relationship for co-parenting. He discusses how to handle your children's concerns, respond to your spouse's anger, manage your own fears, and cope with the legal system.
For Children-but parents should read these as well
THE DINOSAURS DIVORCE
BY LAURENE AND MARC BROWN.
Colorful cartoon dinosaurs address children's fears and concerns over divorce. The dinosaurs let kids know that it's O.K. to feel fear, anger, sadness and relief and that life gets better in time.
IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT, KOKO BEAR
BY VICKI LANSKY.
The classic book for the youngest children. For children, ages 3-7
SOMETIMES A FAMILY HAS TO SPLIT UP
BY JANE WERNER WATSON
A well-told story with pleasant illustrations about a child whose parents quarrel and then decide to divorce. It acknowledges the child's fear and confusion, tells of his parents' reassurances, and shows how his new life unfolds.
PLEASE COME HOME
BY DORIS SANFORD.
With lovely illustrations, this slender book tells the story of Jenny, whose parents are divorcing. Her teddy bear gives her wise advice, and she recovers from her sadness. Ages four to seven.
Elementary- Middle School-Age (also see books listed in the next section for middle school age children)
AT DADDY'S ON SATURDAYS
BY LINDA WALVOORD GIRARD.
Katie watches her dad move out, feels sad, frightened, and finally reassured by his love, attention, and new home. A lovely book for five- to ten-year-olds.
WHEN MOM AND DAD DIVORCE
BY STEPHEN L. NICKMAN.
An excellent book on divorce for eight- to 12-year-olds. The author tells stories about children of divorcing parents and explores what they felt and how they managed.
WHEN YOUR PARENTS GET A DIVORCE, A KID'S JOURNAL
BY ANN BANKS.
This author takes creates a journal/notebook in which children can describe their feelings, draw pictures, and explore the dynamics of their family situation. Ages eight to 14.
THE FACTS ABOUT DIVORCE
CAROLINE EVERSEN LAZO.
This little book can be read in less than an hour. It answers many questions children have about divorce and suggests what they can do to make the process easier on themselves. Ages ten to 15.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR PARENTS' DIVORCE
LINDA CARLSON JOHNSON.
A simple and easy-to-read explanation of divorce–what it means and how it affects children. Ages ten to 13.
Preteen and Teenage (also see books listed above that may span into this age group)
DIVORCE IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD – Zoe's and Evan's Coping Guide for Kids
ZOE and EVAN STERN and ELLEN SUE STERN
An excellent book for a teen or preteen who has recently been told that her parents are divorcing.
THE UNIT AT THE FAYERWEATHER STREET SCHOOL THE KIDS' BOOK OF DIVORCE
A great introduction to divorce, written by children of divorced families. Twenty kids, age 11 to 14, speak to their peers about divorce–what it means, how it feels, what you can and can't do about it.
HOW IT FEELS WHEN PARENTS DIVORCE.
BY JILL KREMENTZ.
Nineteen children, ages seven to 17, tell their stories. The kids talk about how it feels when parents fight and when they don't see one of their parents enough, and what it's like to have two homes, step-parents and new siblings. While they talk frankly about the pain of divorce, they also talk about the good points–seeing more of their fathers than before, no longer witnessing their parents fights, finding their parents more relaxed and fun to be with, and the pleasure of having new step- or half-siblings.
IT'S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD.
“We empathize with 12-year-old Karen Newman as she struggles with the confusion and anxiety caused by her parents' divorce. After several months of coming to terms with new family relationships, she accepts her new life and ends with, "I had a B+ day today."’Probably best for upper elementary and junior high kids.
THE BOYS AND GIRLS BOOK ABOUT DIVORCE. AND THE BOYS AND GIRLS BOOK ABOUT ONE PARENT FAMILIES
BY RICHARD GARDNER, M.D.
The author, a child psychiatrist, talks frankly to youngsters about divorce–their and their parents' anger, how to tell whether parents love them, what it feels like when Dad doesn't show up on time or mother starts dating, and what they can and cannot do to make their situations better. The author even gives good advice on how to live with step-parents. An excellent guide for children eight to 13.
SURVIVING YOUR PARENTS' DIVORCE.
BY CHARLES BOECKMAN.
An easy-to-read explanation of what divorce is all about, what a teen-ager can expect, and how to cope. It also covers step-families. Probably best for ages 13 to 16.
COPING WHEN YOUR FAMILY FALLS APART.
BY DIANNA DANIELS BOOHER.
The author covers the emotional game-playing that parents and children often engage in during the divorce, the emotions the youngster is likely to feel, coping devices, legal terminology, and step-families. A good explanation for the teenager.
AMERICAN GIRL: A SMART GIRL'S GUIDE TO HER PARENTS' DIVORCE: HOW TO LAND ON YOUR FEET WHEN YOUR WORLD TURNS UPSIDE DOWN
BY NANCY HOLYOKE AND SCOTT NASH
For girls who are into the American Girl brand, this offers practical, sensitive advice. May be comforting to American Girl fans. Holyoke also wrote HELP! A GIRL'S GUIDE TO DIVORCE AND STEPFAMILIES which is another girl focused, easy to read book to help tweens understand and cope with the divorce and post-divorce life.
GENERAL PARENTING BOOKS:
General Information on dealing with teenagers
HOW TO HUG A PORCUPINE-NEGOTIATING THE PRICKLY POINTS OF THE TWEEN YEARS
BY JULIE ROSS
THE EVERYTHING TWEEN BOOK: A PARENT'S GUIDE
BY LINDA SONNA
THE ROLLER-COASTER YEARS
BY CHARLENE GIANETTI
"GET OUT OF MY LIFE! . . . BUT FIRST COULD YOU DRIVE ME AND CHERYL TO THE MALL?"
BY ANTHONY WOLF
THE EXPLOSIVE CHILD
BY ROSS GREENE,
AN INTIMATE UNDERSTANDING OF AMERICA'S TEENAGERS: SHAKING HANDS WITH ALIENS
BY BRUCE J. GEVIRTZMAN
STAYING CONNECTED TO YOUR TEENAGER: HOW TO KEEP THEM TALKING TO YOU AND HOW TO HEAR WHAT THEY'RE REALLY SAYING
BY MICHAEL RIERA
HOW TO TALK SO KIDS WILL LISTEN & LISTEN SO KIDS WILL TALK,
HOW TO TALK SO YOUR KIDS WILL LISTEN,
BY H. NORMAN WRIGHT
To help dad understand how his daughter thinks:
THE TRUTH (I'M A GIRL, I'M SMART AND I KNOW EVERYTHING)
BY DR. BARBARA BECKER HOLSTEIN
GIRLS RULE: A VERY SPECIAL BOOK CREATED ESPECIALLY FOR GIRLS
BY ASHLEY RICE
BY LOUISE PALANKER
GIRLTALK: ALL THE STUFF YOUR SISTER NEVER TOLD YOU
BY CAROL WESTON
BE TRUE TO YOURSELF: A DAILY GUIDE FOR TEENAGE GIRLS
BY AMANDA FORD
FOR GIRLS ONLY: WISE WORDS, GOOD ADVICE
BY CAROL WESTON
GIRLWISE: HOW TO BE CONFIDENT, CAPABLE COOL AND IN CONTROL
BY JULIA DEVILLERS
CHANGING BODIES, CHANGING LIVES
BY RUTH BELL ALEXANDER
100 QUESTIONS YOU'D NEVER ASK YOUR PARENTS
BY ELISABETH HENDERSON
IF YOU WANT MORE INFORMATION TRY:
DIVORCE: THE BEST RESOURCES TO HELP YOU SURVIVE
BY RICH WEMHOFF
This is not so much a resource in and of itself; it's more of a gateway or guide to the full panoply of resources available for people going through divorce. Wemhoff offers comprehensive one-page reviews of nearly 200 books, tapes, web sites, CD's and software. He categorizes the resources by how you might use them and who might use them. For example, there are separate sections of information for children 13+, children 6-12, and preschoolers. Wemhoff patiently and compassionately rates each resource for overall rating and for design and ease of use. He's not afraid to list a resource and tell you the problems with it. The average person going through divorce might find Wemhoff's book to be overkill.