This section includes books, organizations and links to websites and videos to help you take your next steps. You will find resources on many different subjects that relate to separation and/or divorce.
- Publications and organizations in the USA and Canada for consensual (out of court) separation and divorce services
- Organizations and Online Legal Resources: USA
- Organizations and Online Legal Resources: Canada
- Organizations and Online Financial Resources: USA & Canada
- Parenting plans
- Resources for Parents
- Resource For Children
- General Parenting
- Resources for Adults
If this is an option for you, these resources may support you and/or your spouse to pause, reflect and try something new. Finding a good couple therapist can help.
- aamft.org American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy (This organization includes Canadian MFTs as well as those in the USA.)
- The Canadian Association of Marriage and Family Therapy
- One More Try: What to Do When Your Marriage Is Falling Apart by Dr. Gary Chapman
- Making Marriage Simple: Ten Relationship-Saving Truths by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt
- 5 Love Languages – Updated: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman
- Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Sue Johnson
- The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert by John Gottman PhD and Nan Silver
- After the Affair, Updated Second Edition: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful by Janis A. Spring
- American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy
- Discernment Counselling – This is a new area in counselling services. If you do not find a counsellor in your area you may be able to access services through the telephone or online.
- TED Talks – Esther Perel: Rethinking infidelity … a talk for anyone who has ever loved
- TED Talks Playlist : Talks that just might save your relationship
- Contemplating Divorce: A Step by Step Guide to Deciding Whether to Stay or Go by Susan Pease Gadoua
Communication can be challenging at the best of times. Through separation and divorce, it often takes more effort to manage strong emotions and to get your ideas across. These resources can help. Even if your spouse is not interested, you can learn to communicate more effectively. Sometimes this improves things enough that the initially uninterested spouse becomes more interested. If you experience your spouse as a ‘high conflict personality, see the High Conflict Institute below.
- Living Nonviolent Communication: Practical Tools to Connect and Communicate Skillfully in Every Situation by Marshall Rosenberg PhD.
- Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, 3rd Edition: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships by Marshall B. Rosenberg PhD and Deepak Chopra
- Taking the War Out of Our Words: The Art of Powerful Non-Defensive Communication by Sharon Ellison
- Difficult Conversations, How to Discuss What Matters Most by Stone, Douglas; Patton, Bruce; Heen, Sheila (Harvard Negotiation Project) | Viking Press (1999)
- Getting Past No, Negotiating in Difficult Situations by Ury, William L.
- High Conflict Institute
- High Conflict People in Legal Disputes by Bill Eddy
- BIFF – Quick Responses to High Conflict People
- The Canadian Association of Marriage and Family Therapy
- American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy (This organization includes Canadian MFTs as well as those in the USA.)
Publications and organizations in the USA and Canada for consensual (out of court) separation and divorce services
- collaborativepractice.com: International Academy of Collaborative Practitioners (IACP) This organization includes Collaborative Practitioners in the USA, Canada and all around the world. It includes the locations of all practitioners in all countries sorted by name, profession and locations as well as comprehensive information about Collaborative Practice for professionals and for the public..
- Association of Attorney-Mediators: attorney-mediators.org
- This site includes a list of attorney mediators across the USA: Family Mediation Canada
- This site includes descriptions of Mediation and a list of FMC Certified Mediators across Canada: ADR Institute of Canada
- This site sets out benchmarks for best mediation and arbitration practices; arbitrator and mediator rosters; frequently asked questions: Association of Attorney-Mediators
- This site includes a list of attorney mediators across the USA.
- KeepOutofCourt.Com This site includes information about mediation and collaborative law, mediator roster and collaborative professional roster for each state.
- Mediate.Com This site provides information regarding family mediation services, and mediator rosters across the USA by state.
- Pathways to an Amicable Divorce: A Guide to the Beginning of Separation by Christina Vinters, J.D.
- This resource provides thorough information about different pathways through consensual divorce and a detailed list of divorce services of all types in the US and Canada both at the national and state or provincial level.
- The Four Ways of Divorce: A Concise Guide to What You Need to Know About Divorce Using Litigation, Negotiation, Collaboration and Mediation by Rachel L. Virk
- Divorce Without Court: A Guide to Mediation and Collaborative Divorce by Stoner, Katherine | Nolo Press
- Collaborative Divorce: The Revolutionary New Way to Restructure Your Family, Resolve Legal Issues, and Move On With Your Life by Pauline Tesler, M.A., J.D. & Peggy Thompson, PhD
- Collaborative Practice; Deepening the Dialogue by Nancy Cameron, QC (a Kindle edition is available)
- The Collaborative Way To Divorce; The Revolutionary Method That Results in Less Stress, Lower costs, and Happier Kids – Without Going To Court by Stuart Webb (Founder, Collaborative Law) and Ron Ousky
- The Collaborative Way To Divorce; The Revolutionary Method That Results in Less Stress, Lower costs, and Happier Kids – Without Going To Court by Stuart Webb (Founder, Collaborative Law) and Ron Ousky (on Amazon)
- Collaborative Divorce Handbook; Helping Families Without Going to Court by Forrest S. Mosten (on Amazon)
Organizations and Online Legal Resources: USA
- Custody Doc: Expert Psychological information for divorcing parents.
- Justia: This site includes free legal information for lawyers, law students, businesses and the public with links to family law, articles and web resources.
- U.S. Divorce Law Center: Information and articles regarding various family law topics, and resource links for each state:
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers: This site includes a directory of AAML members across the USA as well as a library and information centre.
Organizations and Online Legal Resources: Canada
- Families Change: This site provides guides to separation and divorce for kids, teens, and parents; interactive game for kids and teens; online courses for Parenting After Separation and Parenting After Separation – Finances Edition, Parenting After Separation Handbook:
- Family Matters TV: This site provides access to over 200 videos of interviews and presentations by family law professionals from interviews with a sitting judge.
- Justice Canada: Information regarding various family law topics, and many publications including Federal Child Support Guidelines, Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, Creating a Parenting Plan, and divorce related research articles.
- The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP): committed to advancing understanding of the challenges and hard choices facing the very large numbers of Canadians who now come to court without counsel.
- A complete collection of resources developed to help SRLs through the process: http://representingyourselfcanada.com/national-database/
- Facebook page: A national database of lawyers and other professionals who will work with SRLs in a flexible, more affordable way.
- Representing Yourself Blog: A variety of social media which many SRLs use to stay in touch and discuss developments
- A blog by Dr Julie McFarlane, a leading writer and thinker on SRLs.
Organizations and Online Financial Resources: USA & Canada
These sites feature financial professionals who have chosen to include a speciality in divorce related skills in their practice. They can help you get your finances organized before engaging with other professionals and can continue with you through the separation process as a part of an Integrated Mediation or Collaborative Divorce team.
- Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts (IDFA) is going to be your number one resource for clients to locate CDFA (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst) professionals near their location. IDFA website: https://institutedfa.com/find-a-cdfa
- Association of Divorce Financial Planners (ADFP). This is solely a membership organization – so while they do not certify financial professionals, they still have certain membership requirements and hold their members to strict standards. ADFP website: http://www.divorceandfinance.org/search/custom.asp?id=4022
A parenting plan is a written document that outlines how parents will raise their child after separation or divorce. Parenting plan templates can help you get started.
- Custody Dock; Expert Psychological information for divorcing parents.
Parenting plan topics
This is a simple list of parenting plan topics to help you start to think about what kinds of things can go into a parenting plan. Once you are familiar with the ideas, a more comprehensive template (see below) can help you make your own custom fit parenting plan.
- Parenting Plan Checklist – Supporting Families – Justice Canada
- Emery’s Alternative Parenting Plans (Child Custody Schedules)
- [PDF]Some Options for Child Custody Parenting Plans (for Children of …
- Our Family Wizard: Tools to Make Co-parenting Better
- Coparently: Child Custody Tools for Separated or Divorced Parents
- Susan Stiffelman, MFT
- The Co-Parents’ Handbook: Raising Well-Adjusted, Resilient, and Resourceful Kids in a Two-Home Family from Little Ones to Young Adults
- by Karen Bonnell and Kristin Little
- Talking to Children About Divorce: A Parent’s Guide to Healthy Communication at Each Stage of Divorce
- By Jean MeBride MS, LMFT
- Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce the Sandcastles Way: Based on the Program Mandated in Family Courts Nationwide
- by M. Gary Neuman, Patricia Romanowski (Author)
- Reconcilable Differences: Marriages End, Families Don’t
- Cochran, Cate
- We’re Still Family: What Grown Children Have to Say About Their Parents’ Divorce
- by Constance Ahrons
- Take Control of Your Divorce: Strategies to Stop Fighting & Start Co-Parenting
- by Judith Margerum and Jerome Price
- I’d like my chapter on Parents As Debriefers to go in here somewhere.
- The Co-Parents’ Handbook: Raising Well-Adjusted, Resilient, and Resourceful Kids in a Two-Home Family from Little Ones to Young Adults by Karen Bonnell and Kristin Little
- Talking to Children About Divorce: A Parent’s Guide to Healthy Communication at Each Stage of Divorce by Jean McBride MS, LMFT
- Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce the Sandcastles Way: Based on the Program Mandated in Family Courts Nationwide by M. Gary Neuman, Patricia Romanowski (Author)
- Reconcilable Differences: Marriages End, Families Don’t by Cochran, Cate
- We’re Still Family: What Grown Children Have to Say About Their Parents’ Divorce by Constance Ahrons
- Take Control of Your Divorce: Strategies to Stop Fighting & Start Co-Parenting by Judith Margerum and Jerome Price
- Building A Successful Stepfamily: Blueprints for success by Susan Gamache for BC Council for Families
- The Dinosaur’s Divorce by Marc Brown and Laurie Krasny Brown
- I Will Always Love You: Helping Kids Cope With Divorce and Separation by Aya Alasbali
- Mom’s House, Dad’s House for Kids: Feeling at Home in One Home or Two by Isolina Ricci
The separation/divorce transition is stressful for everyone. It can also surface and intensify areas where your parenting could improve. Or perhaps your spouse was more in charge of the kids while you were more out in the workforce. This could be a great time to learn some new parenting practices that can continue to support your family for years to come.
- Brain Builders Alberta Family Wellness Initiative – YouTube (4:06 mins) This roughly 4 min animated video shows how conflict in children’s environments impacts the development of the brain.
- Susan Stiffleman
- Canadian Mental Health Association Confident Parents: Thriving Kids
- Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Childs Developing Mind by Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
- The Parent’s Handbook: Systematic Training for Effective Parenting by Don Dinkmeyer and Gary McKay
- Parenting Young Children: Systematic Training for Effective Parenting of Children Under Six by Don Dinkmeyer and Gary McKay
- Parenting Teenagers: Systematic Training for Effective Parenting of Teens by Don Dinkmeyer and Gary McKay
- How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
- Resources for Adults
- Divorce: A Problem to be Solved, Not a Battle to be Fought by Karen Fagerstrom
- Spiritual Divorce: Divorce as a Catalyst for an Extraordinary Life by Debbie Ford
- Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends by Bruce Fisher EdD, Robert Alberti PhD and Virginia M. Satir
- Must We Say We Did Not Love? by Monza Naff Ph.D.
- Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After by Katherine Woodward Thomas
- Coming Apart: Why Relationships End and How to Live Through the Ending of Yours by Daphne Rose Kingma
- How to Survive the Loss of a Love by Melba Colgrove