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6 Best Helpful Books to Read When Getting a Divorce (Learn and Find Peace)

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There’s a wealth of information on family law matters. But how do you determine which are worth reading?

This article identifies the six best books for non-experts on family law.

What I’m looking for

  1. Practicality and relevance;
  2. Author reputability;
  3. Understandability;
  4. Accuracy.

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1. Splitsville Book

Splitsville Book

Clarissa Rayward’s “Splitsville” is a compassionate guide to navigating separation and divorce. It emphasises amicable negotiations and sustainable agreements. With over 18 years of experience, Rayward gives practical advice to minimise financial and emotional costs. This ensures a path toward a prosperous future for families in transition.

Best Part

The book’s strength lies in its practical, step-by-step approach. It empowers individuals to handle separation with dignity and cooperation. The book aims for amicable resolutions that benefit all parties involved.

Ideal Readers

This book is invaluable for individuals contemplating or undergoing separation or divorce. It helps those eager to avoid contentious court battles and prioritise their family’s well-being.

Key Points Covered

  • Strategies for amicable negotiations with your spouse.
  • Steps to avoid the court process and work collaboratively.
  • The importance of maintaining communication and compassion.
  • Guidance on selecting the right family lawyer.
  • Real case studies demonstrating cooperative approaches.

2. High-Conflict Custody Battle

High Conflict Custody Battle Book

“High-Conflict Custody Battle” provides essential guidance for parents embroiled in intense custody disputes. The authors are experts in psychology and law. It ensures the wellbeing of children in toxic divorce situations.

Best Part

The book’s comprehensive approach, offering checklists and worksheets, enables readers to tailor the strategies to their unique circumstances. This provides a personalised roadmap through the complexities of high conflict custody battles.

Ideal Readers

It is particularly beneficial for parents facing contentious custody disputes. This book is a lifeline for those needing to understand and maneuver through legal and mental health systems during a divorce.

Key Points Covered

  • Selecting the right attorney and expert witness for your case.
  • Preparing documents and for custody evaluations effectively.
  • Strategies to protect against and respond to false abuse allegations.
  • Practical tools and checklists to apply the advice to individual cases.

3. See What You Made Me Do: Power, Control and Domestic Abuse

See What You Made Me Do- Power, Control and Domestic Abuse Book

“See What You Made Me Do” by Jess Hill is a groundbreaking investigation into domestic abuse in Australia. It challenges common perceptions and focuses on the perpetrators and systemic enablers of abuse in family life. Hill’s in-depth research and compelling narrative expose the national crisis of domestic violence.

It explores the mechanisms of power and control that underpin abuse. It has become one of the classic books on domestic violence. It should be on the to-read list of anyone seeking to understand this issue better. Whether you’re a young woman or have been married for many years, this book is a must-read.

Best Part

The book’s strength is its ability to combine meticulous research with compelling storytelling. It offers a new perspective on domestic abuse that centres on accountability and systemic change. The book won and was nominated for numerous awards.

Ideal Readers

This book is crucial for those looking to understand domestic abuse beyond the surface level. This includes policymakers, advocates, and anyone seeking to comprehend the scale and depth of this issue.

Key Points Covered

  • The national emergency of domestic abuse in Australia.
  • Shifting the focus from victim-blaming to examining the actions of perpetrators.
  • The role of the justice system and societal structures in perpetuating abuse.
  • Strategies for reducing domestic violence through systemic change.

Do you need legal assistance with your divorce? Our divorce lawyers are here to help.

4. Surviving Your Split

Surviving Your Split Book

“Surviving Your Split” is a compassionate and practical guide. Sisters and lawyers Lucy and Rebekah Mannering author it. Both authors have experienced divorce first-hand. This book offers a roadmap through the legal, emotional, and practical aspects of separation and divorce in Australia. It provides readers with the tools and knowledge to navigate this challenging time.

Best Part

The book’s excels at blending personal experience and professional expertise. It offers relatable and actionable advice that can help readers confidently manage divorce.

Ideal Readers

This guide is perfect for Australians facing the prospect of separation or divorce. It helps those seeking a comprehensive and empathetic source of information to help them through the process.

Key Points Covered

  • Navigating the initial stages of separation.
  • Communicating effectively with children and extended family about the divorce.
  • Understanding and engaging with the Family Court system.
  • Strategies for negotiating a property settlement.
  • Utilising a resource list provided for additional support.

5. The Co-Parenting Handbook

The Co-Parenting Hand book

“The Co-Parenting Handbook” is a vital guide for parents transitioning from a married couple to co-parents. This book offers practical advice from Karen Bonnell, a mediation expert with decades of experience. It covers navigating emotional challenges, establishing boundaries, and creating a cooperative parenting strategy. With these plans, parents can raise well-adjusted children in a two-home family setting.

Best Part

The book provides clear, actionable strategies for managing day-to-day co-parenting challenges. It ensures that both parents and children can thrive despite the challenges of divorce or separation.

Ideal Readers

This handbook is essential for divorced or separated parents seeking positive co-parenting. It ensures their children receive the support and stability they need.

Key Points Covered

  • Handling the emotional impact of separation on parents and children.
  • Techniques for conflict resolution and mediation.
  • Establishing a successful two-home family dynamic.
  • Guidelines for respectful communication and joint decision-making.
  • Financial management and co-parenting during holidays and special events.
  • Introducing new partners into the children’s lives.

6. Divorce: A Helpful Guide - Property Matters

Divorce: A Helpful Guide - Property Matters

“Divorce: A Helpful Guide – Property Matters” is a comprehensive resource that guides individuals through the financial difficulties of divorce. The book is authored by Anton Richardson, a seasoned family law practitioner who offers practical advice on various topics. He covers minimising legal costs, maximising the effectiveness of legal representation, and strategically navigating property settlements.

Best Part

The book is particularly commendable for its straightforward, reader-friendly approach. It provides clear, actionable advice that demystifies the legal processes of property division.

Ideal Readers

This guide is invaluable for anyone undergoing a divorce in Australia. It’s essential if you’re seeking to understand and effectively manage asset division. This will ensure a fair and informed approach to property matters.

Key Points Covered

  • Strategies to avoid unnecessary legal expenses.
  • Tips for working effectively with your family lawyer.
  • Building a supportive network during the divorce process.
  • Understanding court considerations in determining entitlements.
  • Emphasising alternative dispute resolution over court proceedings.

How do I find a good family law guide?

Many people seek a family law book for individuals navigating family law issues. It’s crucial to find a resource that is informative, accessible and relevant to your specific needs. Here are some key aspects to consider when selecting a family law book:

  1. Authorship and Credentials. The author should have credible qualifications and experience in Australian family law. Look for books written by family lawyers, academics, or experts with a deep understanding of the legal system in Australia.
  2. Up-to-Date Information. Family law can evolve rapidly, so choosing a book that reflects the latest legislation and court rulings is essential. Check the publication date and ensure that it includes recent changes in the law.
  3. Case Studies and Examples. Real-life case studies or hypothetical examples can help illustrate how the law is applied in various scenarios. This makes the content more relatable and easier to understand.
  4. Accessibility. The book should be written in clear, straightforward language accessible to non-lawyers. Legal jargon should be minimised or explained in layperson’s terms.
  5. Resources and References. Resources like templates, checklists, further reading, and support services are helpful and valuable for readers seeking more in-depth information or assistance.

woman sitting and reading

Try asking a best friend or family member for recommendations.

Can fiction be a useful resource?

Fiction books can be valuable resources for people dealing with family law issues. However, they help in a different way than legal textbooks or guides. You may enjoy modern fiction, historical fiction, short stories, or even science fiction. Whatever you enjoy reading, good fiction tells a gripping tale that speaks to the human condition.

Empathising with characters going through similar situations can help reframe your perspective. This can be particularly helpful if you’re going through mediation or counselling. A beautifully written first novel can even allow you to see a situation from the other party’s viewpoint. A quality novel may have a film adaptation for a different experience.

In summary

Here’s a rundown of our top picks:

  1. Splitsville
  2. High-Conflict Custody Battle
  3. Understanding key legal issues: Dispute resolution in family law
  4. Surviving Your Split
  5. The Co-Parenting Handbook
  6. Divorce: A Helpful Guide – Property Matters

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Luke Shanahan Family Law

Luke Shanahan


Luke Shanahan is the Principal Solicitor of Shanahan Family Law. Luke has been practising family law since 2008 and started his firm in 2014. He has three beautiful daughters and a supportive, gorgeous wife. In his spare time, Luke enjoys playing tennis and trips to the beach with family and friends. 

Luke is dedicated to providing the best possible legal representation for his clients. His experience and passion for family law set him apart from other solicitors. You only have to read their 5-star reviews to understand that.

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