The best books on healthy divorce and co-parenting

Who am I?

I am a child of a high-conflict divorce, so when I became a clinical psychologist my mission was to prevent the kind of suffering that is common in divorce, especially for children. I have worked with thousands of children and families going through divorces, some amicably and some with extreme difficulty. Divorce can be damaging but there are ways to prevent that damage, and these books including mine, as well as my blog are all tools with the same goal: help families avoid the pain, upheaval, loss, and destruction of a litigated divorce. In my work now I focus on working with people who commit to work through their divorce without threats of litigation. I work primarily in the area of Collaborative Divorce.


I wrote...

The Parent's Guide to Birdnesting: A Child-Centered Solution to Co-Parenting During Separation and Divorce

By Ann Gold Buscho,

Book cover of The Parent's Guide to Birdnesting: A Child-Centered Solution to Co-Parenting During Separation and Divorce

What is my book about?

Take co-parenting to the next level and provide a stable environment for your children as you and your spouse begin tackling your separation or divorce.

For parents who are separating and want to put their children first, birdnesting could be the interim custody solution you’ve been looking for. Instead of the children splitting their time being shuttled between mom and dad’s separate homes, birdnesting allows the children to stay in the “nest” and instead, requires mom and dad to swap, allowing each parent to stay elsewhere when not with the children.

The books I picked & why

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BIFF for Coparent Communication: Your Guide to Difficult Texts, Emails, and Social Media Posts

By Bill Eddy, Annette Burns, Kevin Chafin

Book cover of BIFF for Coparent Communication: Your Guide to Difficult Texts, Emails, and Social Media Posts

Why this book?

Bill Eddy is the expert on reducing conflict in high-conflict divorce (all of his books are well worth reading). Conflict in divorce can be traumatic, and especially hurts the children. Bill has useful acronyms and tools to help manage the intensity of communication between divorcing parents. His style is conversational and informal, but his content is rich. I like the way he illustrates his points with stories of people he’s worked with. I recommend BIFF and other tools to my patients going through divorce.

BIFF for Coparent Communication: Your Guide to Difficult Texts, Emails, and Social Media Posts

By Bill Eddy, Annette Burns, Kevin Chafin

Why should I read it?

1 author picked BIFF for Coparent Communication as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Coparenting is hard in any circumstance and when doing it with someone that has a high conflict personality, can seem impossible. The first step is to admit that you are outmatched in every way except for the ability to learn new skills related to the high conflict personality. My life did not change until I began to read and understand and start using tools like BIFF. I couldn’t help my children because I couldn’t help myself and until I learned new tools, felt hopeless. Using BIFF will give you hope that change is possible.” A.C., parent

Use BIFF to Communicate…


Mom's House, Dad's House

By Isolina Ricci,

Book cover of Mom's House, Dad's House

Why this book?

Ricci has been writing books for divorcing families for more than 20 years. This book is a classic that helps parents transition to shared parenting time, and parenting children in two homes. She writes supportively about the transition and adjustment to solo-parenting, with helpful suggestions and good illustrations. She followed up with two other books that I always recommend: Mom’s House, Dad’s House for Kids, and The Co-Parenting Toolkit. If I could only recommend one book for divorcing families, it would be one of Isolina Ricci’s.

Mom's House, Dad's House

By Isolina Ricci,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mom's House, Dad's House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Internationally renowned therapist, family expert and mediator Isolina Ricci, Ph.D. presents this definitive and newly updated guide to divorce and making shared custody work for parents and children.

The ground-breaking classic, Mom’s House, Dad’s House, has become the standard for two generations of divorcing parents, and includes examples, self-tests, checklists, tools, and guidelines to help separated moms and dads with the legal, emotional, and financial issues they will encounter as they work to create happy and stable homes.

This comprehensive guide looks anew at the needs of all family members with creative options and common-sense advice, including:

* The map…


Home Will Never Be the Same Again: A Guide for Adult Children of Gray Divorce

By Carol R. Hughes, Bruce R. Fredenburg,

Book cover of Home Will Never Be the Same Again: A Guide for Adult Children of Gray Divorce

Why this book?

With the rise in so-called “gray divorces,” adult children of divorce find that they are just as wounded, betrayed, devastated and grief-stricken as young children. The myth that it is better to “wait to divorce till after the kids are grown” turns out to be just that, a myth. Adult children of divorce have been neglected in divorce books until recently, and this book is a resource geared toward their unique circumstances, helping them process and adjust to their parent's divorce. Divorcing parents would also benefit from reading it if they have adult children.

Home Will Never Be the Same Again: A Guide for Adult Children of Gray Divorce

By Carol R. Hughes, Bruce R. Fredenburg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Home Will Never Be the Same Again as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Adult children are often overlooked and forgotten when their parents divorce later in life, but in these pages they will find comfort and understanding for the many feelings, frustrations, and challenges they face.

For more than two decades, a silent revolution has been occurring and creating a seismic shift in the American family and families in other countries. It has been unfolding without much comment, and its effects are being felt across three to four generations: more couples are divorcing later in life. Called the “gray divorce revolution,” the cultural phenomenon describes couples who divorce after the age of 50.…


Collaborative Divorce: The Revolutionary New Way to Restructure Your Family, Resolve Legal Issues, and Move on with Your Life

By Pauline H. Tesler, Peggy Thompson,

Book cover of Collaborative Divorce: The Revolutionary New Way to Restructure Your Family, Resolve Legal Issues, and Move on with Your Life

Why this book?

Collaborative Divorce is not new, it has been around since the mid-1990s. It is an alternative to litigation when mediation is not going to be enough support. The core of the approach is respect, honesty, transparency, and concern for the entire family. Mediation and Collaborative Divorce are both confidential processes that avoid litigation but there are significant advantages to Collaborative Divorce. Mediation is with one neutral facilitator (mediator) but in a Collaborative Divorce, each person has their own specially trained attorney to guide them through the divorce. In addition, each person has their own divorce coach (sometimes just one neutral coach), and often a child specialist brings the voice of the children to the negotiations. This book describes how Collaborative Divorce works and will help readers decided whether this would be a good process choice for them. The goal is to help families avoid court and avoid ongoing conflict. The book can help readers learn how to avoid the damage caused by difficult divorces.

Collaborative Divorce: The Revolutionary New Way to Restructure Your Family, Resolve Legal Issues, and Move on with Your Life

By Pauline H. Tesler, Peggy Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Collaborative Divorce as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

About half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce, and most of these divorces result in unnecessary collateral damage. Now there is a better way.

In Collaborative Divorce, Pauline Tesler and Peggy Thompson, two pioneers in the field who train collaborative professionals around the world, present the first complete, step-by-step explanation of the groundbreaking method that is revolutionizing the way couples end their marriages. Working with a team of caring specialists that includes two lawyers, two coaches, a financial consultant, and a child specialist (if necessary), you and your spouse focus on building a consensus that addresses…


Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After

By Katherine Woodward Thomas,

Book cover of Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After

Why this book?

When Gwyneth Paltrow introduced the term “conscious uncoupling” to the world, people were intrigued. More and more are searching for ways to divorce amicably, or at least civilly. This book presents a five-step program to guide divorcing couples through a kinder, more respectful process that allows each of them to recover and move on.

Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After

By Katherine Woodward Thomas,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Conscious Uncoupling as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 2014 a media storm erupted when Gwyneth Paltrow announced her separation from Chris Martin, describing it as a harmonious and mutual 'conscious uncoupling' and the term entered the world's vocabulary overnight. Coined and created by relationship expert Katherine Woodward Thomas, the expression 'conscious uncoupling' has become synonymous with a divorce where both partners accept that they each played a role in the breakup and, in particular, are looking to co-parent in a functional and healthy way in the future.

The Conscious Uncoupling 5 Step Process is designed to support separating couples through the thorny terrain of a breakup, helping…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in divorce, co parenting, and New York City?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about divorce, co parenting, and New York City.

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