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Nobody goes into marriage planning for divorce. Nobody wants their children to have to cope with the coming apart of their family life as they knew it. It’s not easy to be thinking of your children when your own emotional life is in the biggest turmoil ever. But there are numerous books available in local bookstores and libraries that provide some good direction. While divorce is hard, handling it in a healthy way will keep everyone thriving.
Below is a small sample of books I highly recommend.
Never be shy to seek counselling too – a little help can go a very long way!

Tug of War: A Judges Verdict on Separation, Custody Battles, and the Bitter Realities of Family Court
Written by Mr. Justice Harvey Brownstone, published by ECW Press 2009
Mr. Justice Harvey Brownstone is a Family Court judge who has 14 years of experience presiding over divorcing parents. In a very readable (even funny at times!) style he outlines how the legal system works regarding divorce, what are alternatives to going to court (what they are called and what they mean), what are healthy ways to reach a divorce agreement and why people choose to act otherwise. The entire books reminds parents that the law is interested in the best interests of their children as all parents should be, rather than in shaming, punishing, teaching a lesson to or winning over the other parent. Although he presides in Toronto Ontario his advice applies to people in jurisdictions all over North America and probably beyond.

Smart Parenting During and After Divorce
Written by Peter J. Favaro PhD., published by McGraw Hill 2009
Dr. Favaro explains in simple to read form such vital skills as how to negotiation with a reasonable or unreasonable co-parent, how to keep your cool at the worst of times, negotiating the legal system, talking to your kids about the separation, making healthy arrangements for children, understanding your children’s needs according to their age and stage of development, dealing with common problems, crises and special concerns, and even how to introduce your children to a new partner.

The Smart Divorce: Proven Strategies and Valuable Advice from 100 Divorce Lawyers, Financial Advisers, Counselors, and Other Experts
Written by Deborah Moskovitch, published by Chicago Review Press 2007
Simple, straight-forward, well-organized, and brief, this book outlines how to stay sane, how to understand and address your children’s needs, how to understand the possible paths to a divorce agreement, financial issues and custody and access. Deborah Moskovitch is a writer who was inspired by her own 7 year struggle to help others. She had more than 100 interviews with leaders in divorce-related fields.

Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent-Child Bond from a Vindictive Ex
Written by Richard A Warshak, PhD., published by Harper Collins 2001
Dr. Warshak, a Child Psychologist, addresses a problem that for a long time was denied even by professionals. Sometimes one parent, through bashing, badmouthing and history reconstruction will successfully alienate their children from the other parent. He describes how to recognize when it is happening and what one can do about it. While many professionals advised parents to just wait it out, Warshak cites studies and examples showing the harm that can happen when no action is taken. He offers a blueprint for how to fight the alienation campaign, reconnect and repair the relationship with one’s children.

Click for a printable pdf copy of this document.