If you're going through a divorce, you need to be informed about the various steps in the divorce process as well as what to expect from yourself and others during this life transition. But you also need emotional support, and stories of other divorcées that can make you feel less alone.
The following books offer something for every divorcée or divorcée-to-be—whether you want advice on how to co-parent or some humor to lighten the mood. Ranging from self-help guides to memoirs, healing is one step closer once you inform yourself with these books.
Here are our picks for the best divorce books.
A Judge's Guide to Divorce: Uncommon Advice from the Bench by Judge Roderic Duncan
Are you hoping to keep your case out of divorce court? Retired California Judge Roderic Duncan recommends doing just that, and shares how in A Judge's Guide to Divorce. According to Judge Duncan, divorce court is a system in which everyone loses—and especially the children. But if going to court is unavoidable, of course he has tips for that, too.
The Smart Divorce by Deborah Moskovitch
This book by divorce coach Deborah Moskovitch (who has been divorced herself) holds advice from 100 divorce lawyers, financial advisors, counselors, and other exerts. Learn things like how to find the best divorce attorneys in your area and how to interview them to find the right one for you, what your legal options are, and more in The Smart Divorce.
The Collaborative Way to Divorce by Stuart G. Webb and Ronald D. Ousky
Here's the concept behind The Collaborative Way to Divorce: Both spouses hire legal representation, but resolve their issues without going to court. This is called a collaborative divorce, and authors Stuart G. Webb (an attorney) and Ronald D. Ousky (a pioneer of collaborative law) recommend it, especially when children are involved. Learn how to have a collaborative divorce yourself by reading this book.
The Divorce Sourcebook by Dawn Berry
This book is filled with advice from a divorce attorney who has been through a divorce herself, too. Learn all about how to find the right lawyer, navigate the legal system, decide if mediation is right for you, and more in The Divorce Sourcebook.
Divorce Wars by Jeffery M. Leving
Divorce attorney Jeffery M. Leving instructs you on how to behave if your divorce gets nasty in Divorce Wars. He provides real examples of divorces turned ugly and how the situations should be best handled.
Divorce & Money by Violet P. Woodhouse and Dale Fetherling
This book helps you deal with the financial decisions that must be made during a divorce. Allow family law attorney, Certified Financial Planner, and Registered Investment Advisor Violet P. Woodhouse and writer Dale Fetherling to help you decide whether you should keep your house, help you avoid tax problems, divide debt, handle alimony and child support, and more in Divorce & Money.
Divorce and Its Tax Impact by Holmes F. Crouch
Getting a divorce obviously has a major impact on your taxes. IRS-licensed tax practitioner and consultant Holmes F. Crouch walks you through filing separate returns, alimony payments, child dependency, and property settlement and disclosure in Divorce and Its Tax Impact.
Co-Parenting With a Toxic Ex by Dr. Amy J. L. Baker and Paul R. Fine
After divorce comes co-parenting (assuming you have children, of course). If your ex is hostile, you may need some help. Does your ex bad-mouth you to your kids, accuse you of being a bad parent, or attempt to replace you with their new partner in your children's lives? Author Amy J. L. Baker has a Ph.D. in human development and co-author Paul R. Fine is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist. Take in their respective expertise on the subject in Co-Parenting With a Toxic Ex.
How to Survive the Loss of a Love by Peter McWilliams, Dr. Harold H. Bloomfield, and Dr. Melba Colgrove
This book may look a little retro, but reviewers still swear by it. More that 4 million copies of How to Survive the Loss of a Love are in print, and according to The New York Times, it's one of the most recommended books by clinical psychologists. It's about how you react to the loss of a love (whether that's a family member, spouse, or friend) and gives you recommendations for coping with the pain and achieving comfort. It's written by psychiatrist Harold H. Bloomfield, the late author Peter McWilliams, and Dr. Melba Colgrove, who has degrees in counseling and organizational psychology.
Divorce Poison by Dr. Richard A. Warshak
Readers love Divorce Poison—it has five stars on Amazon out of more than 400 reviews. It's a guide for how to handle your ex bad-mouthing you to your kids. Psychiatry professor Richard A. Warshak says the most common advice is to not fight fire with fire, but after years of observation and experience, he thinks this solution is the wrong one. Instead, he instructs you on how to properly respond to your ex in Divorce Poison.
Heartburn by Nora Ephron
Ok, are you sick of all this advice and really just need a good laugh? The autobiographical Heartburn is inspired by Nora Ephron's second divorce—but make it funny. The protagonist's husband falls in love with another woman that has "a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs." And well, you can just about guess the rest. Divorce is on the horizon.
Reconcilable Differences by Cate Cochran
Does divorce really have to be so nasty? Not necessarily—if you're up for it. This book explores 10 marriages that have "successfully failed"—where the parents have reconfigured their lives to protect their children. An example? One divorced couple shares a house, with each parent reigning over one story. All pets and children are invited to roam freely. It's not for everyone, but it's interesting to hear about the creative solutions that some divorcées have come up with in Reconcilable Differences.
Two Homes, One Childhood by Dr. Robert E. Emery
Therapist and mediator Dr. Robert Emery shares his own research to explain how to create a parenting plan that grows and changes with your family's changing needs. Dr. Emery has himself co-parented, so Two Homes, One Childhood is a combination of research and personal experience.
On Your Own Again Keith Anderson and Roy MacSkimming
On Your Own Again is a step-by-step guide for coping with loss by psychiatrist Dr. Keith Anderson and co-author Roy MacSkimming, a writer and consultant. The duo toss in some humor to make the whole thing more bearable.
How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed by Theo Pauline Nestor
When you're wondering if there's anyone out there who can relate to your situation, try reading a memoir. How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed is about author Theo Pauline Nestor's divorce. She left her husband after he made massive gambling losses, and thus her life as a stay-at-home mom to her two young daughters abruptly came to an end. Nestor explores the trend of divorce in her family, which leads her to a tiny village in Mexico where her sister ended up living in a convent after their own parents' divorce.
Falling Apart in One Piece Stacy Morrison
With a job in New York magazine publishing, a new house, and a new baby, optimist Stacy Morrison thought she had it all. Until her husband of 10 years left her, that is. Hear her true story of divorce in Falling Apart in One Piece.
Transformational Divorce Karen Kahn Wilson
Psychologist and consultant Karen Kahn Wilson offers a step-by-step program to heal from divorce for women in Transformational Divorce. It's all about directing your energy toward your new life, and not the resentment of the past, she says.
Co-Parenting Works! by Tammy G. Daughtry
This book offers co-parenting strategies from author Tammy G. Daughtry, who is a co-parent herself and the founder of Co-Parenting International. Learn how your actions today will impact your children years from now, learn how to help your child feel at ease in both homes, how to integrate stepparents into the mix, and more in Co-Parenting Works!
The Good Divorce by Dr. Constance Ahrons
Sociology professor Constance Ahrons' book is based on research about co-parenting. She teaches you how to deal with the transition from a nuclear to a "binuclear" family in The Good Divorce, dispelling the myth that divorce will ruin your children.