15 Best Books on Divorce for Parents as They Help Their Kids (and Themselves)

Check out our guide to the best books on divorce for parents. Use them to gain the strategies you need to navigate this process with your kids well.

Divorce can be messy and uncomfortable for the people involved. Yet when parents face divorce, the presence of children adds an additional level of complication. Not only do the divorcing parents have to consider their own emotions and the legal ramifications of this process, but they also must help their children manage the process. This is an overwhelming endeavor, and many self-help books focus primarily on the couple’s emotions, not the children. Yet parents’ separation is a challenging time for children.

Thankfully, there are several books for parents going through this process that can teach them the tools they need to not only help themselves but also help their children. From books outlining family law issues and groundbreaking research to books that help parents explain divorce to their children, here are the best books for parents to read as they start this process.

Contents

Books for Kids with Divorcing Parents

1. Dinosaurs Divorce: A Guide for Changing Families by Marc Brown

Book cover of Dinosaurs Divorce by Marc Brown
Book cover of Dinosaurs Divorce by Marc Brown

In Dinosaurs Divorce, Marc Brown helps young children learn how to navigate a challenging family situation. The picture book is sensitive to the needs of its readers while helping children understand the words that come with divorce. It also touches on what it’s like to live in two homes and how to manage new family members, like step-parents and step-siblings. The fun illustrations of dinosaurs and the kid-friendly writing of Marc Brown make it a must-read for families in this scenario.

“When your parents divorce, it’s natural to feel sad, angry, afraid, confused, ashamed, guilty, relieved, worried about who will take care of you. These bad feelings won’t last forever, and other is plenty you can do to help yourself feel better.”

Marc Brown, Dinosaurs Divorce
Sale
Dinosaurs Divorce: A Guide for Changing Families
  • Hardcover Book
  • Marc Brown (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 10/30/1986 (Publication Date) - Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Publisher)

2. Two Homes by Claire Masurel

Book cover of Two Homes by Claire Masurel
Book cover of Two Homes by Claire Masurel

Small children struggle to understand divorce and living in two homes when their parents have joint custody, and this sensitive book takes a child-centered approach to explain it. It is a simple story with cute, bright pictures by illustrator Kady MacDonald Denton that mom and dad can use to explain what is happening to their little ones. Two Homes by Claire Masurel looks at what a child gains when parents divorce. It turns a negative situation into a positive one so children can move forward.

“At Mommy’s house, Alex has a soft chair. At Daddy’s house, Alex has a rocking chair. In each home, Alex also has a special bedroom and lots of friends to play with. But whether Alex is with Mommy or with Daddy, one thing always stays the same – Alex is loved.”

Claire Masurel, Two Homes
Two Homes
  • Masurel, Claire (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 40 Pages - 07/14/2003 (Publication Date) - Candlewick (Publisher)

3. My Family’s Changing: A First Look at Family Break-Up by Pat Thomas

Book cover of My Family's Changing by Pat Thomas
Book cover of My Family’s Changing by Pat Thomas

Children of divorce face fear that parents often don’t know about, and the children may be unable to express those fears clearly. My Family’s Changing addresses those fears in a sensitive, gentle way. Parents and grandparents can use this book to help the children in their lives understand what is happening and the emotions they’re feeling. Author Pat Thomas is a counselor and psychotherapist, so the information in the book is helpful as children start to heal.

“Divorce is when two people decide not to be married to each other anymore and to live separately from now on. It is not your fault when your parents get divorced, even though it may feel like it. It’s your parent’s fault, and it’s okay to feel sad and mad at what they are doing.”

Pat Thomas, My Family’s Changing
My Family's Changing: A First Look at Family Break-Up (A First Look At Series)
  • Thomas, Pat (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 02/01/1999 (Publication Date) - Sourcebooks Explore (Publisher)

Books on the Divorce Process

4. Vicki Lansky’s Divorce Book for Parents by Vicki Lansky

Book cover of Divorce Book For Parents by Vicki Lansky
Book cover of Divorce Book For Parents by Vicki Lansky

Vicki Lansky’s Divorce Book for Parents teaches parents what they need to know about approaching divorce in the healthiest way possible for their kids. From strategies for telling the kids to ways to keep both parents in the children’s lives, the book has practical guidance that parents can use to navigate these challenging waters. It even addresses how to handle dating after divorce. Though the subject matter can be challenging, the book is written in a friendly and pragmatic way that helps parents feel supported.

“Evidence today dismisses the notion that the overall impact of divorce on children is inevitably negative and damaging. Yes, divorce has a major impact on children, but children will be affected more by the way a family restructures itself and the way the feelings are handled afterward than by the divorce itself.”

Vicki Lansky, Vicki Lansky’s Divorce Book for Parents
Sale
Vicki Lansky's Divorce Book for Parents: Helping Your Children Cope with Divorce and Its Aftermath (Lansky, Vicki)
  • Lansky, Vicki (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 01/11/1996 (Publication Date) - Book Peddlers, The (Publisher)

5. The Good Divorce: Keeping Your Family Together When Your Marriage Comes Apart by Dr. Constance Ahrons

Book cover of The Good Divorce by Dr. Constance Ahrons
Book cover of The Good Divorce by Dr. Constance Ahrons

Can divorce be good? In The Good Divorce: Keeping Your Family Together When Your Marriage Comes Apart, Dr. Constance Ahrons explores the complications when spouses separate but strive to remain connected to their children. It teaches parents practical advice for transitioning to a “binuclear” family, a name she coined to refer to a two-home, two-parent household. This book is research-heavy, as Ahrons studied many families to determine what worked best to help the children cope with life after divorce. She draws from that research to give practical advice to help families through this challenging time.

“The good divorce is not an oxymoron. A good divorce is one in which both the adults and children emerge at least as emotionally well as they were before the divorce. Even though we have difficulty conjuring up positive images of divorce, the reality is that most people feel their lives improved after their divorces.”

Dr. Constance Ahrons, The Good Divorce
The Good Divorce
  • Ahrons, Constance (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 03/01/1995 (Publication Date) - William Morrow Paperbacks (Publisher)

6. The New Rules of Divorce by Jacqueline Newman

Book cover of The New Rules Of Divorce by Jacqueline Newman
Book cover of The New Rules Of Divorce by Jacqueline Newman

Parents entering the divorce process can use the secrets in The New Rules of Divorce to protect their sanity, wealth, and health. It talks about everything from hiring the right attorney to deciding if divorce is right. It provides practical advice about child custody schedules, asset division, and how to protect one’s finances. Finally, it advises about mental health in a challenging time. The author, Jacqueline Newman, is a successful New York City divorce lawyer.

“Divorce has also become a team sport, and it is no longer just two lawyers sitting in the room. Many divorces nowadays can involve an army of middlemen.”

Jacqueline Newman, The New Rules of Divorce
The New Rules of Divorce: Twelve Secrets to Protecting Your Wealth, Health, and Happiness
  • Hardcover Book
  • Newman, Jacqueline (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages - 01/07/2020 (Publication Date) - Atria Books (Publisher)

7. The High-Conflict Custody Battle: Protecting Yourself and Your Kids from a Toxic Divorce, False Accusation and Parental Alienation by Dr. Amy J. L. Barker, Dr. J. Michael Bone and Brian Ludmer

Book cover of The High-Conflict Custody Battle by Dr. Amy J. L. Barker, Dr. J. Michael Bone and Brian Ludmer
Book cover of The High-Conflict Custody Battle by Dr. Amy J. L. Barker, Dr. J. Michael Bone and Brian Ludmer

Custody battles are rarely pretty, and The High-Conflict Custody Battle helps parents understand what to do if they’re in this fight. Written by a team of legal experts and psychologists, it gives readers the tools to manage hostile and deceitful ex-spouses, including how to build a defense against false accusations. It also helps the reader maintain a healthy relationship with their kids and protect their parenting rights. When parents get angry, accusations often fly, and this book has practical tools to help parents overcome this challenge. 

“Although Tolstoy wrote that every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, there are some common issues around which most high-conflict custody disputes revolve.”

Dr. Amy J. L. Baker, Dr. J. Michael Bone and Brian Ludmer, The High-Conflict Custody Battle
The High-Conflict Custody Battle: Protect Yourself and Your Kids from a Toxic Divorce, False Accusations, and Parental Alienation
  • Audio CD – Audiobook
  • Amy J.L. Baker (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1 Page - 03/01/2021 (Publication Date) - Tantor and Blackstone Publishing (Publisher)

Best Books on Co-Parenting

8. BIFF For Co-Parent Communication: Your Guide to Difficult Texts, Emails, and Social Media Posts by Bill Eddy, Annette Burns and Kevin Chafin

Book cover of BIFF For Co-Parent Communication by Bill Eddy, Annette Burns and Kevin Chafin
Book cover of BIFF For Co-Parent Communication by Bill Eddy, Annette Burns and Kevin Chafin

BIFF stands for Brief, Informative, Friendly, and Firm, and it’s a valuable communication strategy in divorced families when one party is hostile. BIFF for Co-Parent Communication teaches parents how to use the BIFF method to respond to emails, texts, and other highly toxic conversations. This is a helpful tool since communication is always at our fingertips in modern society. It allows the healthier parent to stay positive and friendly in communication while holding firm to their boundaries. The guide also helps the parents to develop more beneficial communication skills.

“You’re going to do your best to focus that person on problem-solving information. To do this, don’t give too many words for the other person to react to.”

Bill Eddy, Annette Burns and Kevin Chafin, BIFF for Co-Parent Communication
BIFF for CoParent Communication: Your Guide to Difficult Texts, Emails, and Social Media Posts (Conflict Communication Series, 3)
  • Eddy, Bill (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 246 Pages - 11/03/2020 (Publication Date) - Unhooked Books (Publisher)

9. Overcoming the Co-Parenting Trap: Essential Parenting Skills When a Child Resists a Parent, by Dr. John A. Moran

Book cover of Overcoming The Co-Parenting Trap by Dr. John A. Moran
Book cover of Overcoming The Co-Parenting Trap by Dr. John A. Moran

It’s not uncommon for a child to feel resistance toward a parent during a divorce. This heartbreaking situation is the subject of Overcoming the Co-Parenting Trap by Dr. John A. Moran. It explores why a child may resist contact and provides practical strategies parents can use to ensure their children have healthy relationships with both parents, regardless of the parenting time arrangement. Significant challenges are faced in these scenarios, and the book tries to help parents, whether they are the preferred parent or the resisted parent, find strategies to help.

“When a child resists a parent, both parents are faced with parenting challenges far outside the realm of everyday parenting. THe resisted parent tries to save a relationship with a child who resists, sometimes rudely, affection, communication and connection. The preferred parent is dismayed as the child conveys unhappy, angry and anxious apprehensions about the resisted parent.”

Dr. John A. Moran, Overcoming the Co-Parenting Trap
Overcoming the Co-Parenting Trap: Essential Parenting Skills When a Child Resists a Parent
  • Moran Ph.D., John A. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 94 Pages - 03/01/2015 (Publication Date) - Overcoming Barriers Inc. (Publisher)

10. Parents Are Forever: A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming Successful Co-Parents After Divorce by Shirley Thomas

Book cover of Parents Are Forever by Shirley Thomas
Book cover of Parents Are Forever by Shirley Thomas

In Parents Are Forever, Shirley Thomas attempts to gently lead parents to a healthy place of co-parenting after divorce. The book uses the grief recovery model to help parents understand what their children are going through and what they need to cope with the changes divorce brings. Parents learn to use meetings and a healthy co-parenting plan to put their children’s needs first. The underlying theme of this book is that, even with divorce, parents are forever a part of a child’s life.

“Divorce is a loss, like death, because when couples separate, the family they planned to have forever is gone. And divorce, like death, requires grieving to recover.”

Shirley Thomas, Parents Are Forever
Sale
Parents Are Forever: A Step-By-Step Guide to Becoming Successful Coparents After Divorce
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Thomas, Shirley (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 172 Pages - 01/01/2004 (Publication Date) - Springboard Pubns (Publisher)

11. Mom’s House, Dad’s House: Making Two Homes for Your Child by Dr. Isolina Ricci

Book cover Mom's House, Dad's House by Dr. Isolina Ricci
Book cover Mom’s House, Dad’s House by Dr. Isolina Ricci

Mom’s House, Dad’s House by Dr. Isolina Ricci teaches parents how to set up two healthy homes for their children. The book provides a roadmap to what divorce will look like to the children and gives guidance on negotiating parenting agreements. It teaches parents how to stop being negative towards each other for the betterment of their children. The goal is to help children feel secure and stable through a difficult process. Ricci has also written a children’s book that is a companion to this adult book. In it, she helps children understand what it will be like to live in two homes and how that can be a positive change.

“Children love, want, and need both parents. Fathers as well as mothers are the core of their child’s life. Both parents, with and without custody, are important to their children’s well-being and healthy development.”

Dr. Isolina Ricci, Mom’s House, Dad’s House
Sale
Mom's House, Dad's House: Making two homes for your child
  • Great product!
  • Ricci Ph.D., Isolina (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages - 11/18/1997 (Publication Date) - Touchstone (Publisher)

12. Co-Parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households after Divorce by Deesha Philyaw and Michael D. Thomas

Book cover of Co-Parenting 101 by Deesha Philyaw and Michael D. Thomas
Book cover of Co-Parenting 101 by Deesha Philyaw and Michael D. Thomas

Living in two households can be hard for some kids. In Co-Parenting 101, Michael D. Thomas and Deesha Philyaw explore setting up a successful co-parenting relationship. The authors believe that co-parenting healthily is not just an option but a requirement. Both parents need involvement in their children’s lives, and it provides strategies to do so well. It also takes some of the legal concerns off the shoulders of parents, so they can focus more on being present and engaged with their children.

“Divorce with kids in the mix is a time of intense personal sacrifice, calling for tremendous amounts of maturity and patience – at precisely a time when you’re the least able to muster them, because it’s also a time of tremendous loss and grief.”

Deesha Philyaw and Michael D. Thomas, Co-Parenting 101
Sale
Co-parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households after Divorce
  • Philyaw, Deesha (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 05/01/2013 (Publication Date) - New Harbinger Publications (Publisher)

13. Blend: The Secret to Co-Parenting and Creating a Balanced Family by Mashonda Tifrere

Book cover of Blend: The Secret To Co-Parenting And Creating A Balanced Family by Mashonda Tifrere
Book cover of Blend: The Secret To Co-Parenting And Creating A Balanced Family by Mashonda Tifrere

Author Mashonda Tifrere is no stranger to the world of co-parenting, as she co-parents with Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys. This high-profile blended family works together to raise Kasseem, Tifrere, and Beatz’s son. In Blend: The Secret to Co-Parenting and Creating a Balanced Family, the families share the insights they learned in this process. Tifrere brings advice from therapists and parenting experts to help create a comprehensive resource for co-parents.

“It was my son who pushed me to begin the work of setting aside my ego and committing to improving the relationship between his father and me. I knew that in order to be fully present, healthy, and emotionally stable for my son, I would first have to accept that I was wounded and in need of some self-love and care.”

Moshanda Tifrere, Blend: The Secret to Co-Parenting and Creating a Balanced Family
Sale
Blend: The Secret to Co-Parenting and Creating a Balanced Family
  • Hardcover Book
  • Tifrere, Mashonda (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 10/02/2018 (Publication Date) - TarcherPerigee (Publisher)

Books for Post-Divorce Parents

14. The Divorce Recovery Workbook: How to Heal from Anger, Hurt, and Resentment and Build the Life You Want by Dr. Mark S. Rye and Dr. Crystal Dea Moore

Book cover of The Divorce Recovery Workbook by Dr. Mark S. Rye and Dr. Crystal Dea Moore
Book cover of The Divorce Recovery Workbook by Dr. Mark S. Rye and Dr. Crystal Dea Moore

Divorce brings many negative emotions; parents who want to do their jobs well must work through these emotions to regain their mental health. The Divorce Recovery Workbook by Dr. Mark S. Rye and Dr. Crystal Dea Moore provides practical strategies to do that. The book takes parents through mindfulness and positive psychology to learn to cope with the negative emotions they have as they rebuild their lives after divorce. It contains practical exercises for individuals to go through as they learn to cope with the feelings divorce brings.

“Divorce is often referred to as an emotional roller coaster. It’s a good analogy. Roller coasters start out on a slow, seemingly harmless climb that can lull riders into a sense of complacency. Suddenly, without much warning, the cars accelerate into terrifying plunges, unexpected turns, and loops that flip you upside down.”

Dr. Mark S. Rye and Dr. Crystal Dea Moore, The Divorce Recovery Workbook
The Divorce Recovery Workbook: How to Heal from Anger, Hurt, and Resentment and Build the Life You Want
  • Rye PhD, Mark S. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 216 Pages - 03/01/2015 (Publication Date) - New Harbinger Publications (Publisher)

15. Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After by Katherine Woodward Thomas

Book cover of Conscious Uncoupling by Katherine Woodward Thomas
Book cover of Conscious Uncoupling by Katherine Woodward Thomas

When parents divorce, it can leave them stewing in anger and shame rather than learning to move forward as healthy individuals. Sometimes, those negative emotions cause the parents to lash out at one another, even if they are otherwise good, healthy people. In Conscious Uncoupling, Katherine Woodward Thomas goes through five steps individuals can take to find emotional freedom and reclaim their power to be healthy individuals, even after the challenges of divorce. It has practical strategies and helps people create a paradigm shift that will allow them to flourish.

“None of us think, when walking down the aisle to stand open-hearted before our one true love, that we will one day wind up on the wrong side of that tenacious 50 percent divorce divide. Nor do we assume impending heartache when basking in a newly forming union that is filled with hope and the promise of lifelong love.”

Katherine Woodward Thomas, Conscious Uncoupling
Sale
Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After
  • Thomas, Katherine Woodward (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 10/18/2016 (Publication Date) - Harmony (Publisher)

Looking for more? Check out our guide with the best self-help authors!

Author

  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.