From Our Bookshelf
If you want equality, do your homework-the old-fashioned way. Read a book. You can never have too much information when it comes to making life-shaping decisions, yet most of us enter-and exit-marital relationships with little preparation.
You’ll find plenty of titles related to family law and relationships when you browse your local library or bookstore. In association with amazon.com, the Institute has compiled the following list. These are some of our favorites on topics ranging from books on marriage, to divorce books, to financial resources and many other resources. Click on the titles to order directly or to read additional reviews.
Browse the list or go directly to the category you need by using the navigation at right.
Divorce and After Back To Top
Transformational Divorce (2003), By Karen Kahn Wilson, Ed. D.
A book written specifically for women who are looking for a step by step way to gain their independence and self confidence back after divorce.
Boomer’s Guide to Divorce: (and a New Life) (2004), By Marlene M. Browne
Written by a lawyer who is a boomer herself, she gives practical advice on how you can smartly tackle your divorce, including how to handle it if you are on the receiving end.
The Complete Guide to Divorce Law (2004), By Nihara K. Choudri, Esq
Helps you prepare yourself for divorce and gives numerous actions you can take before speaking to an attorney. State by state divorce laws are listed.
Rightfully Yours: How to Get Past-Due Child Support, Alimony and Securing Your Share of Your Ex’s Pension, (2002)By Gary A. Shuman
Written by one of the leading authorities on Qualified Domestic Relations Orders. You’ll find out how and why you may need a QDRO.
Divorce: Making The Break (2002)
by David Bell
Bell writes from firsthand experience how in stressful times, like divorce, everything in life becomes intensified. While the book is child-centered it offers a compassionate and caring advice on the process as a whole.
Divorce Process- Empowerment Through Knowledge (2001)
by Marlene Browne, Esq
A comprehensive guide to the divorce process- from the varied ways to disslove your marriage to finding the right attorney to child support to securing your judgment.
Spiritual Divorce (2001)
by Debbie Ford
Seven steps to healing yourself during and after divorce.
Cutting Loose: Why Women Who End Their Marriage Do So Well (1997) by Ashton Applewhite
A wealth of post-divorce information and ideas for women – and men.
Divorce & Money How to Make the Best Financial Decisions During Divorce by Dale Fetherling and Violet Woodhouse. 5th Edition (2000)
A Nolo Press book with plenty of pro-active advice on how to handle your finances and your stress. The message: Don’t let your emotions ruin your financial future.
Divorce and New Beginnings (2000) 2nd Edition by Genevieve Clapp.
A guide for parents with checklists to help you realize your goals whether you stay single or remarry.
Divorce Help Sourcebook. (1994) by Margorie L. Engel
Compiles information from many sources in one volume to help you through the divorce process by simplifying search for information. Check the reference section of your local library as well as the circulating collection.
Divorce: The Best Resources to Help You Survive (1998) by Rich Wemhoff (ed.)
New resources in print and online enter the market every day, but this is a good starter guide, which ranks and evaluates the entries.
Don’t Settle For Less: A Woman’s Guide to Getting A Fair Divorce & Custody Settlement (1996) by Beverly Pekala
Author contends that men often get better divorce deals because of default and that sometimes a 50-50 split is unfair to a woman who hasn’t worked outside the home. Particularly good for younger women.
Fair Share Divorce for Women. (1995) by Kathleen Miller
Step-by-step procedure for taking control of the dissolution of your marriage.
How to Find the Right Divorce Lawyer (1997) by Robin Page West, J.D.
Everything from what to ask at the first meeting to switching attorneys.
Still Unequal. (1997) by Loraine Dusky
Analyzes how the courts treat women in divorce, custody, domestic violence, and sexual assault cases.
Surviving Separation and Divorce: A Woman’s Guide to Making It Through the First Year (2000) by Loriann Hoff Oberlin
How to rebuild your life in incremental steps on the legal, emotional, social and spiritual journeys we all face.
The Courage to Be a Single Mother: Becoming Whole Again After Divorce (2000) by Sheila Ellison
Practical, reassuring advice on single parenting in the modern world and an invaluable guide for women to discover the strength they never knew they had to nurture their children, resurrect their spirits, and ultimately create the life they want.
The Divorce Handbook: Your Basic Guide to Divorce (1984) by James T. Friedman
Particularly good sections on divorce trials.
The Essential Grandparent’s Guide to Divorce (1999) by Lillian Carson
Practical, down-to earth advice and tips.
The Father’s Emergency Guide to Divorce-Custody Battle (1997) by Robert Seidenberg
Combines a lawyer’s expertise with the experience of a fathers’-rights activist.
The Illusion of Equality: The Rhetoric and Reality of Divorce Reform. (1991) by Martha Albertson Fineman.
More than a critique, this book argues for adopting outcome-oriented measures and provides a valuable overview of the pitfalls of uncritically implementing any rhetoric as social policy.
The Newly Divorced Book of Protocol (1995) by Gloria Linterman.
Describes the three stages of divorce-detachment, knowing your leaving and separation.
The Smart Divorce: A Practice Guide to the 200 Things You Must Know (1999) by Susan T. Goldstein and Valerie H. Cobb
These divorce attorneys pack in plenty of information in 169 pages.
The Unofficial Guide to Divorce (1998) by Sharon Naylor
A consumer’s guide to save you time, trouble and money.
What Every Woman Should Know About Divorce and Custody. (1998) by Gail Smith and Sally Abrahms
Designed for women at every stage of divorce and covers a wide range of legal strategies, as well as financial and psychological issues.
Untying the Knot : Ex-Husbands, Ex-Wives and Other Experts on the Passage of Divorce (1999) by Deborah Brodie (ed.)
Comfort, commiseration and comic relief.
Child Custody Back To Top
The Visitation Handbook (2002) by Brette McWhorter Sember
This book is split into two parts: one half is for the custodial parent and the other for the noncustodial parent. Included are sample parenting “plans”, numerous resources and practical day to day survival tips for divorced parents.
Custody for Fathers: A Practical Guide Through the Combat Zone of a Brutal Custody Battle (1999) by Carleen and Michael Brennan
Good compilation of information but little on choosing a lawyer.
Child Custody Made Simple: Understanding the Law of Child Custody and Child Support (1997) by Webster Watnik
Detailed chronology of what happens during a divorce with state-by-state guidelines. The Library Journal called it, “A worthy addition to family law collections.”
Child Custody: Building Parenting Agreements that Work (2000) by Mimi Lester
Puts the priority on the best interest of children while helping divorced parents deal with child custody issues by creating parenting agreements. Tells how parenting agreements can be prepared, negotiated and drafted.
Fighting for Your Children : A Father’s Guide to Custody (1998) by John Steinbreder and Richard G. Kent
Help for men in custody battles and guidance through the whole legal experience, but the authors also wrote the book with women and grandparents in mind.
Win Your Child Custody War: A Child Custody Help Source (1999) by C. Hardwick
Good for both mothers and fathers. Also see our recommendations of books written specifically for men or for women.
Family Law Back To Top
Guide to Family Law (1996) by Jeff Atkinson.
A comprehensive resource from The American Bar Association on all aspects of family law.
Nolo’s Pocket Guide to Family Law ( 1998) by Robin Leonard and Stephen Elias
A handy guide covering marriage, divorce, adoption, property and debt, reproductive rights, together, court procedures.
Money Back To Top
A Girl Needs Cash (1998) by Joan A. Perry
The easiest way to lose control of your life is to lose control of your financial life is the message. For women at all stages of life.
Couples and Money: A Couples’ Guide Updated for the New Millennium (1998) by Victoria Collins and Suzanne B. Brown
Comes with worksheets and 10 essential truths. Tips on how couples can get their money goals in-synch and maybe improve their relationship on other levels, too.
Money Makeovers: How Women Can Control Their Financial Destiny (1998) by Christopher L. Hayes
Authored by the founder and director of the National Center for Women and Retirement Research, the book has a Women Cents Self-Test to help you determine your finance profile and what you can do to get the most out of your money.
Prince Charming Isn’t Coming: How Women Get Smart About Money. (1999) by Barbara Stanny
Savvy, practical checklists to guide you toward financial stability, written by the daughter of one of the founders of H&R Block.
Set for Life: Financial Help for People Over 50 (2000) by Bambi Holzer
Holzer’s first book, Retire Rich, was for baby boomers at the peak of their earnings. Here she discusses financing planning for those closer to retirement age.
Suddenly Single: Money Skills For Divorcees and Widows. (1998) by Kerry Hannon
A survival kit approach to personal finance for women who must learn to manage their own money-often for the first time.
The Road to Wealth (2001) by Suze Orman
Referred to as the “practical counterpart” to “The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom.” Financial decisions from buying a home to planning for retirement.
The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom. (1997) by Suze Orman
The Courage to Be Rich.( 1999) by Suze Orman
The bottom line is much, much more than money.
You’ve Earned It, Don’t Lose It. (1997) by Suze Orman
Pre-Marital Agreements Back To Top
Prenuptial Agreements: How to Write a Fair & Lasting Agreement, (2004) By Katherine E. Stoner, Esq & Shae Irving, JD
This step by step guide comes with a CD-ROM full of worksheets and clauses used in prenups. It also provides state by state laws surrounding prenups.
Prenups for Lovers: A Romantic Guide to Prenuptial Agreements (2001) by Arlene G. Dubin
A guide full of answers to the why, how, what, when and where of a prenuptial agreement. Example prenups included.
How to Write Your Own Premarital Agreement (1998) by Edward W. Haman
We advocate consulting lawyers – one for each of you – but this book is a good start in crafting a pre-martial agreement. Includes guidelines for couples with children from prior marriages and partnerships in family businesses.
Relationships Back To Top
The Triumph of Love Over Exprience: A Memoir of Remarriage, (2004) By Wendy Swallow
An honest and well written story of the authors journey within herself and with a new partner to create a positive future for themsleves and their (combined) 4 children.
World Class Marriage: How to create the relationship you always wanted with the partner you already have (2002) by Patty Howell Ed.M, A.G.C.and Ralph Jones
Learn how to use the 16 pillars (areas of focus) based on empathy, genuiness and acceptance to “transform human aspirations into habitable and meaningful space.”
How To Be A Couple And Still Be Free (2002) by Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. & Riley K. Smith, M.A.
This book focuses on helping couples learn ways to better communicate and become better “problem solvers”. It is particularly helpful to individuals who feel “overpowered” in discussions with their spouse.
Divorce Busting (1992) by Michele Weiner-Davis
A marriage “saving” approach developed by a therapist that focuses on changing communication patterns and setting productive goals.
Unbending Gender (2000) by Joan Williams
A refreshing perspective on “domesticity” and “gender roles” accompanied by suggestions on what you can do about it. This book relates to women, men and their “family.”
Public Vows-A History of Marriage and the Nation (2000) by Nancy F. Cott
An in depth look at marriages in America. The definition of marriage by judges, legislators and individuals, and how they have changed since the country’s founding to today.
And What Do You Do? : When Women Choose to Stay Home (2003) by Loretta Kaufman and Mary Quigley
For women who see themselves as partners with their husbands, not servants or second-class citizens. More than housewives, these women run complex enterprises for which they make sophisticated financial, housing, lifestyle, and parenting decisions. The book explores how partnering gives wives equal voice in marriage.
Communication Miracles for Couples: Easy and Effective Tools to Create More Love and Less Conflict (1997) by Jonathan Robinson
Techniques for everything from getting a partner to listen to repairing broken trust to avoiding arguments altogether.
Fathering: Strengthening Connection With Your Children No Matter Where You Are (1995) by Will Glennon
Practical and creative advice on overcoming obstacles such as travel, divorce and long hours at work.
On Your Own: A Widow’s Passage to Emotional &Financial Well-being. (2000) by Alexandra Armstrong and Mary R. Donahue.
Emotional and financial checklists to help widows and divorced people to recover and overcome grief.
Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends. 3rd Edition (1999) by Bruce Fisher
The end of each chapter has a “How Are You Doing?” section, listing questions to help you think through dilemmas and offering ideas with which to rebuild life after divorce.
Should We Stay Together? (2000) by Jeffry H. Larson, Ph.D.
A series of easy-to-take and surprisingly revealing self-tests that enable any couple to predict potential marital satisfaction before marriage.
The Hard Questions: 100 Essential Questions to Ask the One You Love. (2000) by Susan Piver
A little book laying out the ways to improve communication.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families (1997) by Stephen Covey, Ph.D.
Best-selling author adapts his famous 7 habits to family life. He has also written a book suggesting how families can write their own mission statements.
What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women (1988) by James C. Dobson
Points out barriers to marital harmony and then offers suggestions for their resolution.