Families Change Guide to Separation & Divorce

Books and Guides for Parents


A Quick Reference Guide to the California Offices of the Family Law Facilitator
Published by the Judicial Council of California.

Sacramento County Public Law Library Legal Guides
This site has a list of books on family law and other legal topics.

Good Parenting Through Your Divorce: The Essential Guidebook to Helping Your Children Adjust and Thrive: Based on the National Learning Program
Mary Ellen Hannibal Marlowe, 2007
This book touches on several helpful and informative topics such as how to recognize, cultivate, and respond to your child’s feelings; how divorce affects your child’s development; how to support your child’s expressive self; the challenge of behavior and discipline; the dos and don’ts of shared parenting; understanding and managing negative reactions; guidelines for developing positive emotional habits and lastly how to manage communication with your co-parent.

How to Talk to your Children about Divorce.
Jones-Soderman, Jill. Family Mediation Center Publishing Co., 2006.

Learning from Divorce: How to Take Responsibility, Stop the Blame, and Move On
La Crosse, E. Robert, and Christine A. Coates.Jossey-Bass, 2003.

Making Divorce Easier on Your Child: 50 Effective Ways to Help Children Adjust
Nicholas Long and Rex Forehand (2002) Contemporary Books.

Mom’s House, Dad’s House: Making Two Homes for Your Child
Isolina Ricci Fireside, 2006
Guides separated, divorced, and remarried parents through the hassles and confusions of setting up a strong, working relationship with the ex-spouse in order to make two loving homes for the kids. Includes emotional and legal tools, as well as many reference materials and resources.

Putting Children First: A Guide for Parents Breaking Up
McDonough, H., and C. Bartha. University of Toronto Press, 1999.

Stop! In the Name of Love for Your Children: A Guide to Healthy Divorce
Risa Garon Children of Separation and Divorce Centre Inc., 2000
This book deals with important issues relating to divorce including a child and family focused decision-making model and how professionals work with this model with both parents and children.

Surviving Your Divorce
Cochrane, M.John Wiley & Sons, 2006.

Talking to Children about Separation and Divorce: A Handbook for Parents
Risa Garon and Barbara Mandell Children of Separation and Divorce Centre Inc; National Family Resiliency Center, 2005
This book provides a roadmap through the challenges of supporting children through family change. Practical strategies in each chapter offer parents concrete suggestions for nurturing and guiding youngsters while building positive family relationships.

The Co-Parenting Survival Guide: Letting Go of Conflict after a Difficult Divorce
Elizabeth Thayer and Jeffrey Zimmerman (2001) New Harbinger Publications

The Divorce Book: A Practical and Compassionate Guide (2nd ed.)
McKay, Matthew, Peter Rogers, and Joan Blades..New Harbinger Publications, 1999.

The Truth About Children & Divorce: Dealing with the Emotions so You and Your Children Can Thrive
Robert E. Emery (2004) Viking Adult

What About the Children: A Guide for Divorced/Separating and Divorcing Parents
Jack Arbuthnot and Donald Gordon Centre for Divorce Education, Athens Ohio, 2001
A parent guide to the various aspects of separation and divorce: single parenting, long distance parenting, parenting plans and what helps children adjust.

What About the Kids? Raising Your Children Before, During, and After Divorce
Judith S. Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee (2003) Hyperion

Working with Children on Divorce: A teacher’s and counselor’s manual for children in the middle: children’s version
Jack Arbuthnot, and Donald A. Gordon (2005)
Resources for educators to help both parents and children especially get through the divorce process and make it easier in terms of dealing with the divorce trauma and shock.


Books for Teens

Here are some useful books that you can ask for at your library or book store.

Changing Families: A Guide for Kids and Grown-Ups
Fassler, David, Michele Lash, and Sally B. Ives.Waterfront Books, 1988.

Difficult Questions Kids Ask and Are Too Afraid to Ask – About Divorce
Schneider, Meg F., J. Offerman-Zuckerberg, and J. Zuckerberg (contributor)Fireside, 1996.

Divorce Happens to the Nicest Kids: A Self Help Book for Kids
Michael S. Prokop (1996) Alegra House
For ages 9-12. Explanations of the common issues faced by this age group when their parents divorce or separate.

Divorce is Not the End of the World: Zoe and Evan’s Coping Guide
Ellen Sue Stern, Zoe Stern & Evan Stern  (1997) Tricycle Press
For ages 9-15. Feelings of guilt and anger. Dealing with living in two homes and avoiding manipulation by parents. Talking to friends and parents and dealing with parent’s new relationships, step-parents, and step-siblings.

For Better, For Worse: A Guide to Surviving Divorce for Preteens and Their Families
Janet Bode and Stan Mack. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001.)

Grace and Family
Hoffman, M., and C. Binch. F. Lincoln, 1997.

Help! A Girl’s Guide to Divorce and Stepfamilies
American Girl Library. (Middleton, Wisconsin: Pleasant Company, 1999.)

How It Feels When Parents Divorce
Jill Krementz Alfred A Knopf, 2006
In this immensely moving book, nineteen boys and girls, from seven to sixteen years old and from highly diverse backgrounds, share with us their deepest feelings about their parents’ divorce.

How to Survive Your Parents’ Divorce
Nancy O’Keefe Bolick  (1995) Franklin Watts
For ages 12-16. Interviews with teens whose parents have divorced or separated. Comments and advice based on the interviews.

It’s Not the End of the World
Blume, Judy Yearling Books, 1986

Mom’s House, Dad’s House for Kids: Feeling at Home in One Home or Two
Isolina Ricci Fireside, 2006
“Mom’s House, Dad’s House for Kids,” is an inside view of separation, divorce, and forming a stepfamily. It is primarily for children 10 and older to read along or with their parents.

Pre-teen Pressures: Divorce
Goldentyer, D. Steck-Vaughn Company, 1998.

Snowman: A kid’s guide to coming to terms with separation and divorce
Risa J. Garon Children of Separation and Divorce Center Inc., 2000
This book is a companion to “A Kids’ Guide to Coming to Terms with Separation and Divorce, Part II”, which is directed to a more advanced reader. Younger readers may want to read the companion book with a more experienced reader.

Surviving Divorce: A Student’s Companion to Children in the Middle II
Donald A. Gordon and Jack Arbuthnot Center for Divorce Education, 2005
This booklet is a resource in dealing with topics such as you and your family, some myths and truths about divorce, how divorce makes you feel, asking for help, getting on with your life and many other excellent discussions.

Surviving High School
Mike Riera. Celestial Arts Publishing, 1997.
Mike Riera, who has worked with students for over nineteen years, speaks directly to students about the situations and changes they will face both during and immediately after high school. Interspersed with the author’s down-to-earth, practical guidance are the words of teens who offer their own points of view and experiences.

Teens and Divorce
Gail B. Stewart. (Greenhaven Press, 2000.)

Teens with Single Parents: Why Me?
Margaret A. Shultz (Enslow, 1997.)

The Divorce Helpbook for Teens
Cynthia MacGregor – (2004) Impact Publishers
Deals with questions: Why do parents get divorced? How will the divorce change our lives? What can I do to feel less depressed? Who can I talk to about my problems? What’s going to happen next? How do you tell absent parents that they do not visit enough? How do you say “no” to parents who want  you to carry messages to, or spy on, the other parent? What is there to talk about when you visit a parent who’s moved away?

The Divorce Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help You Move Beyond the Break Up
(Instant Help Books, 2008)

What in the World Do You Do When Your Parents Divorce?: A Survival Guide for Kids
Roberta Beyer and Kent Winchester Free Spirit Publishing, 2001
Aimed at children ages 7-12, this guide explains divorce, new living arrangements, and other basics to help children understand what’s happening in their lives. With honesty simplicity, and authors help children realize that divorce isn’t their fault, strong emotions are okay, and families can survive difficult changes.

When Your Parents Split Up...How to Keep Yourself Together
Alys Swan Shultz. (Enslow, 1997.)
These titles are provided for your convenience only. The Judicial Branch of California does not endorse them and is not responsible for their content.


Books for Children


A Separation in My Family
Wendy Deaton Hunter House, 1994
An excellent resource for kids to go through and draw different things about their experiences. A very creative, child friendly program designed for use with elementary school children, filled with original understanding, and optimal growth.

At Daddy’s House on Saturdays
Girard, L. Albert Whitman, 1991.

Dinosaurs Divorce
Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown Little, Brown and Company, 1986
Dinosaurs Divorce, written for children, will help them understand: divorce words and what they mean, why parents divorce, living with one parent, visiting their parent and many more helpful ideas that make the process easier.

I Don’t Want to Talk About It
Jeanie Franz Ransom & Kathy Kunz Finney  (2000) Magination Press
For ages 4-8. Dealing with feelings.

It’s Not Your Fault, Koko Bear: A Read Together Book for Parents and Young Children during Divorce –
Vickie Lansky (1998) Book Peddlers

For ages 3-7. What divorce means, dealing with changes and recognizing and dealing with feelings.Divorce is not the child’s fault. Tips for parents on each page.

Let’s Talk About It: Divorce
Fred Rogers Penguin Putnam Books, 1996
Mister Rogers does a great job of calmly explaining the difficult situation to young kids in simple words, and helping them understand the scary situation they are in.

Mama and Daddy Bear’s Divorce
Cornelia Maude Spelman & Kathy Parkinson (1998) Albert Whitman & Company

For ages 3-6. Some things will change, but a lot will stay the same.  Children do not cause divorce, and they cannot do anything to stop it.  Life goes on, and eventually things will be okay again.

Mom and Dad Don’t Live Together Anymore
Stinson, Kathy and Nancy Lou Reynolds (illus.). Firefly Books, 1988.

My Family’s Changing: A First Look at Family Breakup
Thomas, P.  Barron’s Educational Series, 1999.

My Parents are Divorced, Too: A Book for Kids by Kids.
Ford, M. Magination Press Division, 1997.

The Divorce Workbook for Children
Lisa M.Schab Instant Help Books, 2008
Children of divorced parents will benefit from caring, friendly activities in this book. While children may sometimes not show apparent signs of the stress of a divorce, the strain it places on them is very real and, left undealt with, can develop into serious problems in years to come.

The Family Circus
Becky McNeely and Don Gordon Tishomingo County Families First Resource Centre, 2004
Based on Children in the Middle by Jack Arbuthnot and Donald Gordon, this illustrated booklet is designed for children.

Two Homes
Claire Masurel & Kady Denton (2003) Candlewick
For ages 2-5. Reassurances about having two homes after divorce or separation.

What Can I Do? : A Book for Children of Divorce
Lowry, Danielle Magination Press, 2001.