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. Don't forget to buy local!

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

Check out this great book list at Kids' Turn that specifically references children's issues. Browse on-line, but remember to buy local! Carmichael's, Reader's Corner, and Destinations Booksellers in New Albany can get you anything that's in print.

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.

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!