Suggested Reading

These books and articles have been recommended by current and former members of Divorce Recovery Louisville, friends, and colleagues. We welcome your suggestions. And don't forget to buy from a local bookstore if you possibly can!

If you are only going to read one book about the divorce process:

Marriages End. Families Don't. Divorce Wisely.: The essential handbook for navigating the process of divorce by Suzanne E. Grandchamp, Esq. IngramSpark, 2015. Kindle and paperback.

"To all people who are considering or going through the difficult transition of divorce -- and who feel scared, lost, anxious, unsure of what comes next, or just plain terrified. This book is written for you, in the hopes that a lot of information about the process might make it a little easier."

What your Friends Need to Read

Here are a couple of links to send your friends who (you hope) want to support you but don't necessarily know how:
Relevant magazine: How to Help People Going Through a Divorce How to Help a Friend Deal with Divorce 18 Ways to Help a Friend Going Through a Divorce
Buzzfeed: 13 Ways To Be A Good Friend To Someone Getting Divorced
And, just as important... 10 Things Never to Say to Someone Going Through a Divorce
Not sure how long these will remain accessible, but Google can find you many more. Be selective.

The Mechanics of Divorce

Divorce Manual: A Client Handbook is very thorough and available free on-line from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. The print version is also for sale there -- the smartest $10 you'll ever spend. The emphasis is on what you need to do for your part of a lawyer-client team, but it gets into the whole rest of the process of divorce, as well. How thorough is this book? Well, we hope we aren't violating copyright or anything here, but just seeing the table of contents makes you aware of how much you really need to have a handle on:

    • A. Introduction
    • B. Divorce Proceedings
      • 1. The Petition
      • 2. The Response
      • 3. Temporary Orders
      • 4. Discovery
      • 5. Negotiated Settlement
      • 6. Trial
      • 7. Alternative Dispute Resolution
        • a. Mediation
        • b. Neutral Case Evaluation
        • c. Arbitration
        • d. Collaborative Law
    • C. Your Conduct
    • D. After the Divorce
      • 1. Modification
      • 2. Enforcement
      • 3. Omitted Property
    • E. Some Questions and Answers about the Divorce Process
    • A. Purposes of Counseling
      • 1. Helping you help your children through the breakup of their family
      • 2. Helping you and your spouse work together for your children’s welfare
      • 3. Helping you deal with the stress of divorce
      • 4. Helping you work with your lawyer
      • 5. Helping you to understand the marital breakup
      • 6. Helping you rebuild your life
      • 7. Reconciliation
    • B. If You Have Been to Counseling
    • C. Some Questions and Answers about Counseling
    • A. Introduction
    • B. Legal and Physical Custody
    • C. Joint Custody
    • D. Allegations Of Child Abuse
    • E. Custody Litigation
      • 1. Mediation
      • 2. Investigation
      • 3. Lawyer or Guardian ad Litem for the children
      • 4. Trial
      • 5. Children as witnesses
    • F. Child Support
    • G. Misuse Of Children
    • H. Your Conduct with Your Children
    • I. Some Questions and Answers about Children
    • A. Introduction
    • B. Getting Names of Lawyers
      • 1. From other professionals
      • 2. From organizations
      • 3. Referrals from other persons
    • C. What to Look For
      • 1. Cost
      • 2. Gender, age, race, religion, national origin
      • 3. Credentials
      • 4. Personal compatibility
      • 5. Location
    • D. Interviewing
    • A. Introduction
    • B. What You Can Expect from Your Lawyer
    • C. What You Cannot Expect from Your Lawyer
      • 1. Your lawyer will not handle matters that are beyond the scope of your agreement.
      • 2. Your lawyer cannot guarantee results.
      • 3. Your lawyer cannot do anything unethical or illegal.
      • 4. Your lawyer may be reluctant to act against the best interests of your children.
    • D. Lawyers and Clients Should Maintain an Appropriate Professional Relationship.
    • A. The Importance Of Communication
    • B. Financial Information
    • C. Marital History
    • D. Keeping in Touch
    • E. Calling Your Lawyer and Returning Calls
    • F. Being Available
    • G. Correspondence
    • H. Your Involvement In Other Legal Proceedings
    • I. Some Questions and Answers about Communication:
    • A. Introduction
    • B. You Benefit From Cooperation Between the Lawyers.
    • C. You Will Be Hurt If The Lawyers Are Drawn Into An Emotional Fight.
    • D. Dirty Tricks Do Not Help.
    • E. Some Questions and Answers about the Relationship Between Opposing Counsel
    • A. The Court
    • B. Experts
      • 1. Your side
      • 2. The other side
      • 3. Appointed experts
    • C. Your Children
    • D. Witnesses
    • E. Psychotherapists and Members of the Clergy
    • F. Others
    • G. Some Questions and Answers about Clients' Relationships to Third Parties.
    • A. Definition.
    • B. The Harmful Effects of Domestic Violence
    • C. Tell Your Lawyer
    • D. What Can Be Done?
      • 1. Shelters
      • 2. Restraining orders
      • 3. Criminal prosecution
      • 4. Civil lawsuits
      • 5. Therapy
    • E. Reporting Requirements
    • A. Introduction
    • B. Different Fee Arrangements
    • C. Written Fee Agreements
    • D. Costs And Expenses
    • E. Security for Payment
    • F. If You Find You Can't Pay According To Your Agreement
      • 1. Work with your lawyer to solve the problem.
      • 2. If you can't resolve the problem after talking to your lawyer, here is what might happen.
        • a. Withdrawal
        • b. Liens
        • c. Mediation
        • d. Arbitration
        • e. Lawsuits
    • G. Some Questions and Answers About Fees and Costs
    • A. At the beginning of the case
    • B. After the divorce

Divorce 101: A Woman's Guide
by Tracy Achen, 2014
This inclusive 250-page guide to the entire divorce process is available by electronic download (PDF) from for under $20, or in print from Amazon. It has lists of documents you will need, financial worksheets, a list of who to inform if you decide to drop your ex's last name, and a divorce agreement checklist: children, assets, debts, alimony, etc. (One side note: you can now add this book to your Wedding Registry on Amazon - it always helps to plan ahead!)

Responsible Divorce
This 110-page ebook features articles by a dozen divorce professionals, covering a wide range of perspectives (e.g. legal, mediation, financial, psychological, spiritual). It gives you a concrete picture of what you can do to have a responsible divorce. "Responsible divorce is about balance and sustainability. You recognize that there are conflicting needs, and you do your best to balance them." Available in PDF, ePub, and mobi formats.

Thesre is a good book list at

The rest of the website is pretty wonderful, too, if a little difficult to navigate. Hint: the menu is often in the middle of the page rather than at the top. Sometimes it disappears altogether -- just use your 'Back' button.

Getting Divorced Without Ruining Your Life:
A Reasoned, Practical Guide to the Legal, Emotional and Financial Ins and Outs of Negotiating a Divorce Settlement

Sam Margulies, PhD, JD. Simon & Schuster, New York. 2001.

Divorce & Money: How to Make the Best Financial Decisions During Divorce
Violet Woodhouse, CFLS, CFP & Matthew J Perry. 2013.

Divorce Mediation Kit includes
Using Divorce Mediation and Divorce & Money
Divorce is never easy, but these two books can make a tough period of your life less challenging. Using Divorce Mediation walks you through a process that will help resolve differences in a non-adversarial environment. Divorce & Money shows you how to divide debts and assets and set alimony payments and child support, while making the division as fair as possible for both sides. In the end, you can spare your family and yourself the lawyer fees, drawn-out court appearances and bad feelings.
Order online at Nolo Press or call 1-800-728-3555.

Children and Divorce

Good Parenting Through Your Divorce:The Essential Guidebook to Helping Your Children Adjust and Thrive Based on the Leading National Program by San Francisco author, Mary Ellen Hannibal.
Based on the Kids’ Turn Program, this parenting guide serves as a useful tool to help parents before, during or after participation in a Kids’ Turn workshop. An essential, comprehensive guide for parents, Good Parenting Through Your Divorce helps parents and their children adjust to a new family arrangement. Chapters on childhood development, discipline, healthy communication, and moving forward make this a complete treatment of a common but challenging experience.

The Good Divorce: Keeping Your Family Together When Your Marriage Comes Apart, Ahrons, Constance R.
Dr. Ahrons shows couples how they can move beyond the confusing, even terrifying early stages of breakup and learn to deal with the transition from a nuclear to a ‘binuclear’ family-one that spans two households and continues to meet the needs of children.

Children of Divorce: A Developmental Approach to Residence and Visitation, Baris, Mitchell and Carla Garrity.

Caught in the Middle: Protecting the Children of High Conflict Divorce, Garrity, Carla B. and Baris, Mitchell A.
This book explains the nuances of how high-conflict divorce affects children and then provides concrete strategies for minimizing the damage.

Back in Control, Gregory Bodenhamer.
This book was designed for parents who feel out of control with their kids. It teaches how to take back the control by using parental authority.

Parenting Teenagers, Denkmeyer and McKay.
A guidebook for improving parent-teen relationships based on STEP/teen (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting of Teens). It is structured like a classroom textbook with summaries and tests at the end of each chapter.

Parents’ Handbook, Don Dinkmeyer Sr.
Also based on STEP (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting of Teens), this handbook offers a democratic philosophy about child training. It follows the same format as the book described above.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, Farber and Mazlish.
A basic yet effective step-by-step book which teaches parents how to communicate with kids. Cartoons and practice exercises help make this book fun, interactive, and easy to get through.

The Parents’ Book About Divorce, Richard A. Gardner M.D.
This book provides extensive coverage of the many problems that parents must attend to when dealing with children’s reactions to separation and divorce. It gives detailed descriptions of how problems may come about, and offers ways to prevent them.

Between Parent and Child, Ginott.
Although written in the early 60′s, this practical guide for talking to and dealing with your children is still useful today. It is clearly written, gives specific advice, and offers basic principles for raising children.

Between Parent and Teenager, Ginott.
The second Ginott book was written in the late 60′s and is just as valuable as the first. In this book, Ginott offers straightforward advice about conflicts, communication, and understanding between parents and young adults.

Interventions for Children of Divorce, Hodges. This book is intended to provide mental health professionals, lawyers and judges with principles for working with children of divorce, but it is also a valuable reference for parents. It touches on a wide range of areas related to divorce, and focuses on the legal aspects that affect families.

The Lesbian & Gay Parenting Handbook: Creating and Raising our Families, Martin, April, Ph.D.
Drawing on in-depth interviews with families and sxperts and her own personal and professional experience, the author walks the reader through the many issues involved in forming and nurturing a lesbian or gay family.

Moms’ House, Dad’s House, Isolina Ricci Ph.D.
In this step-by-step guide, divorced parents learn how to establish two homes for their children. The book takes into account various custody and living arrangements, and is geared specifically towards parents who do not necessarily have equal amounts of time with the children.

What Every Child Would Like His Parents to Know, Lee Salk M.D.
Dr. Salk was the director of pediatric psychology at Cornell Medical Center. From his experience working with emotionally disturbed people, he has seen the benefits of taking preventive measures while children are still young. The book is meant to help parents ease their children’s emotional problems.

Loving Your Child is Not Enough, Samalin, Nancy. Viking, 1987.
Samalin is a mother and counselor who draws on her own experiences to teach other parents alternatives to yelling, threatening and criticizing their children. She provides numerous examples of caring, effective ways to discipline and communicate with children.

Second Chances: Men, Women and Children A Decade After Divorce, Wallerstein, J., and S. Blakeslee.

Surviving the Breakup, How Children and Parents Cope with Divorce, Wallerstein, J. and J. Kelley.

Sharing Parenthood After Divorce, Ciji Ware.
The author gives her perspective as a mother who got divorced and encountered exasperating court procedures. She offers first-hand advice about ways to handle custody-sharing and thenew day-to-day adjustments that must be made in a divided household.

Co-Parenting, Miriam Galper.
In this book, Miriam Galper presents co-parenting methods and anecdotes gathered from friends, family, professionals, and her own experience. She asserts her ideas about the benefits of parents sharing their children equally.

Divorce is the Pits, So Stop Digging, J. Muha and M. Vernon.
This self-help program is designed to be used by divorcing parents on their own or as part of a group. Videotape and workbook also available from Looking Glass Productions; 116 Defense Highway, Ste. 210; Annapolis, MD, 21401.

A Guide for Single Parents, Kathryn Hallett.
Celestial Arts,1975. Hallett stresses the importance of moving on after the end of a marriage (as a result of divorce or the death of a spouse), and of starting a new life. The author examines the feelings associated with being single and the change that comes with this new identity.

How to Survive Your Adolescent’s Adolescence, Kolodny, Robert C. Nancy J. Kolodny, Thomas Bratter, Cheryl Deep.
This handbook teaches parents how to take preventive measures to influence teens in a positive way and reduce the possibility of self-destructive behavior. It covers topics ranging from sex and drugs to eating problems and suicide.

The CoParenting Toolkit by Isolina Ricci, Ph.D.
NEW TOOLS EASY TO USE: Strategies, Checklists, Worksheets, Solutions
Ricci is an internationally known award-winning educator, mediator, and a licensed marriage and family therapist. She is the author of the classic Mom’s House Dad’s House and Mom’s House, Dad’s House FOR KIDS. She has been working with and for families for more than 30 years. She is the Director of and Custody & CoParenting Solutions.

Understanding and recovering from Divorce

Crazy Time - Surviving Divorce and Building a New Life
Abigail Trafford. Harper Collins, New York. 1993.
It's official: if you only read one book about recuperating from divorce, this is it. There's a 2014 edition, in print and on Kindle, but the first edition still has the better cover:
Crazy Time book cover

Uncoupling: Turning Points in Intimate Relationships
Diane Vaughan, Oxford Universiy Press, 1986. Revised and reissued in paperback: Vintage, 1990
"Uncoupling begins with a secret. One of the partners begins to feel uncomfortable in the relationship. The world the two of them have built together no longer "fits." Often these feelings appear very early. Indeed, many report that they "felt it was a mistake" prior to combining households; prior to the wedding; on the honeymoon."

Divorce Recovery™ Handbook
Divorce Recovery, Inc., Tuscon, AZ, 2014
This 75-page workbook was prepared by and for people in the support group programs run by Divorce Recovery of Tuscon, a volunteer-run non-profit that sounds a lot like Divorce Recovery Louisville. It's really good: a road map for understanding what went wrong in your marriage, working through your divorce, and emerging relatively whole once the dust has settled. Available through the website.

The New Creative Divorce, Mel Kantzler with Patricia Kantzler.
The author of this book has led divorce seminars and dealt with divorce himself. He talks about coping with the trauma of divorce and the different phases one goes through in the process. He gives life after divorce an optimistic look by framing it as a renewal of life as a single person.

Healing the Wounds of Divorce - A Spiritual Guide to Recovery
Barbara Leahy Shlemon. Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN. 1992.

How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty: And Say Yes to More Time, and What Matters Most to You
Patti Breitman and Connie Hatch. Broadway. 2001.
Whether in paper, hardcover, Kindle, audiobook, or whatever, there are great ideas (and scripts!) about how to say NO to your boss, to family, to kids, to invitations, to high-maintenance people. Although not specifically written for those in divorce, every chapter is pertinent and thought-provoking. This is the action plan for people who need to start setting boundaries. Just great.

Singleness after Divorce

Being Single in a Couples' World - How to be Happily Single While Looking for Love
Xavier Amador and Judith Kiersky. Simon & Schuster, New York, 1998.
Although you might want to put the "...While Looking for Love" part on hold for a bit, the rest of the book has useful things to say about becoming secure in singleness.

The Divorce Experience: A Study of Divorce at Midlife and Beyond
Xenia P. Montenegro, PhD. ©2004 AARP
"This groundbreaking study, The Divorce Experience: A Study of Divorce at Midlife and Beyond (PDF, 2MB), is the first of its kind to document what has become a common experience among midlifers and older people. The study examines the circumstances surrounding divorce at midlife and its impact on men and women." It's a survey-based study that examines the circumstances surrounding divorce, reasons for divorce, impact of divorce, life after divorce, and sexuality among later-life divorcees. There are breakdowns by age, race, and religion. The actual questionnaires used are included - how would you have answered? One observation: only 5% of the 1,100 respondents made use of a support group.

Partners of Survivors of Sexual Abuse

See for links to books on this subject.

And... remember to buy local!