Family Mediation Services, Inc.

Recommend Reading

Between Love and Hate: A Guide to Civilized Divorce
Lois Gold, Plume Publishers, 1996, Paperback , ISBN 0452274966, 1992, Hardcover, ISBN 0306441322

A guide written for divorcing parents to improve communication and to utilize the skills of effective negotiation and conflict resolution to avoid costly legal battles. The book addresses legal, financial, and emotional issues during and after the divorce process. It also offers much information for mediators, therapists and attorneys who assist divorcing couples as well.

Caught in the Middle: Protecting the Children of High-Conflict Divorce
Carla Garrity and Mitchell Baris, Jossey-Bass, Inc., 1997, Hardcover, ISBN 0787938793

Focusing on the effects of inter-parental conflict on children of divorce, this book explains to parents and to divorce professionals the nuances of high conflict divorce. It examines the causes and consequences of parental conflict and offers concrete advice to make co-parenting work, even in high conflict divorce. Chapters include topics such as: Why Work It Out?; Understanding Conflict Developmentally; How to Assess Conflict; Normal Visitation Versus Conflict Visitation: Parental Alienation; and Creating a Parenting Plan for High Conflict Divorce.

The Children's Book...For the Sake of the Children
A Communication Workbook for Separate Parenting After Divorce, Marilyn S. Erickson and Stephen K. Erickson,
CPI Publications, 1992, Paperback workbook, ISBN 1881111024

As a communication workbook for separate parenting after divorce, this book replaces the common notebook transferred between parents. It contains and organizes information pertinent to the children in one workbook which is exchanged between the parents during transfers. In addition to forms for important personal, medical, and educational information, it contains many blank pages, useful for encouraging written communication between the parents and discouraging using the child to carry oral messages between the parents.

Choosing a Divorce Mediator: A Guide to Help Divorcing Couples Find a Competent Mediator Diane Neumann, Owlet Publishers, 1997, Paperback, ISBN 080504762X

A user friendly guide for potential clients of mediation, this book allows the reader to peek into the mediation process and make wise decisions about choosing the right mediator for you.
Covering such topics as whether mediation is for everyone and every situation, how to get your spouse to mediation, and assessing your needs in the mediation process, this guide also provides interview questions to ask mediators and how to choose a lawyer.

Crazy Time: Surviving Divorce and Building a New Life Abigail Trafford, Harper Perennial, 1993 Paperback , ISBN 0060923091

A journalist's account of the emotional and practical struggles of going through divorce, this book is written from the perspective of the author’s personal experiences as well as from her researched interviews of a national sample of hundreds of divorced men and women. The book is a personal road map for people going through divorce. It presents a step-by-step guide to understanding the predictable emotional passages of men and women after a marriage ends.

Dinosaurs Divorce: A Guide for Changing Families
Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown, Little, Brown and Company, 1986, Paperback, ISBN 0316112488

This cartooned paperback book was written for parents going through divorce to read to their young children. It presents, in a very straightforward fashion, the truths and realities of divorce for children to understand. Using a dinosaur family that goes through the divorce process, it narrates the process and explains all the terms (with a glossary) at a young child's level of comprehension. Topics include: divorce words and what they mean; why parents divorce; living with one parent; visiting your parent; telling your friends; meeting parents, new friends; living with step-parents; and more.

Divorce and Money: How to Make the Best Financial Decisions During Divorce
Violet Woodhouse, Victoria Felton-Collins, Robi Leonard, and M.C. Blakeman. Nolo Press, 1996, Paperback (3rd Edition), ISBN 0873373421, June 1998 (4th Edition), ISBN 0873374622

This is a comprehensive, readable guide to help divorcing couples navigate the financial maze of gathering information, generating and assessing options, and reaching financial property settlements. Charts and formulas with fill-in-the-blank formats abound to help collect and organize information and resolve such diverse questions as how to share a tax refund or liability, or how to find the present and/or  future after tax/sale value of a residence.

The Divorce Mediation Handbook: Everything You Need to Know
Paula James, Jossey-Bass Publishing, 1997, Paperback, ISBN 078790872X

A one-stop resource for couples who want to spare themselves and their children the destructiveness and costs which result from an unfriendly divorce, this detailed mediation road map walks couples through each step of the process and show how to reach a fair and reasonable settlement. Charts and worksheets.

Families Apart: Ten Keys to Successful Co-Parenting Melinda Blau, Bantam Books, 1995 Paperback, ISBN 039952150X

book for divorcing parents is based on the author's interviews with divorced parents, family therapists, and psychologists. It offers practical solutions that give parents a new model of post-divorce relationships. Structured around ten principles of successful co-parenting, this book describes the tasks, attitudes, and communication skills that are required to move the family through all the transitions and events that continue to bring parents together in their children's lives. The author urges parents to put aside their own conflicts and maintain contact with the other family's; using creative problem solving to negotiate disagreement.

The Family Puzzle
Nancy S. Palmer, William D. Palmer and Kay Marshall, Strom Pinon Press, 1996, Paperback, ISBN 0891099492

This book addresses the issues of blended families to assist parents in avoiding the common pitfalls of the blending process and helping parents recognize the benefits of their new situation. It teaches the ins and outs of step parenting, how to deal with ex-spouses, relatives and friends, and ways to make the transition as smooth as possible for the children involved.

Getting To Yes: How to Negotiate Agreement Without Giving In 2nd Edition, Roger Fisher and William Ury, Penguin Books, 1991, Paperback, ISBN 0140157352, 1992, Hardcover, Bruce Patton Editor, ISBN 0395631246, Audio Cassette, Simon and Schuster, ISBN 067634062

This first book of a trilogy is based on the Harvard Negotiation Project. It offers a practical, universally applicable approach for reaching mutually acceptable agreements in disputes ranging from domestic conflict and business disputes to international tensions.

The Good Divorce: Keeping Your Family Together When Your Marriage Comes Apart Constance Ahrons, Basic Books, 1995, Paperback, ISBN 0060926341

This book counteracts the myths that divorce inevitably turns adults into bitter enemies, results in damaged children and broken homes, and rips apart the fabric of society. Written for divorcing parents, it focuses on what we can learn from families that divorce while maintaining family bonds and doing well by their children.

Healthy Divorce
Craig Everett and Sandra Volgy Everett, Jossey-Bass, Inc., 1994, Hardcover, ISBN 1555426727

This book explores ways of confronting difficult issues such as how to tell your children you are getting a divorce, how to plan a separation, and how to cope with your feelings of anger, grief, and abandonment. The authors offer practical advice on using mediation as an alternative to the adversarial court battle; co-parenting to maintain stability for the children after the divorce; and organizing and structuring a happy blended family. Filled with checklists and examples, this book offers a detailed plan for surviving the emotional difficulties that are an inevitable part of every divorce.

How It Feels When Parents Divorce
Jill Krementz, Alfred A. Knopf, Rebound by demcomedia. 1988, Turtleback, ISBN 060603823

This book, written for children of divorce, is based on interviews with nineteen boys and girls, aged seven to sixteen, from highly diverse backgrounds. Through pictures of the children and their stories told in their own words, the author presents the pain and resilience of children going through divorce. The works of the children are immediate and convincing and are presented without rationalization and illusion.

How To Mediate Your Dispute
Peter Lovenheim, Nolo Press, 1996, Paperback, ISBN 0873373294

This book explains how the mediation process works form start to finish and provides detailed information on how you can use it to resolve the most troublesome neighbor, business and divorce disputes. The book covers such topics as how to decide if mediation is right for you, finding the right mediator, preparing for mediation, understanding what the mediator is doing and why, and making your  agreement legally enforceable.

How to Win as a Step Family
Emily B. Visher and John Visher, Brunner Mazel, Inc., 1991, Paperback, ISBN 0876306490

This is a handbook for prospective and current stepfamilies that provides solid suggestions for creating a new family after divorce. The book discusses the vital questions that arise during the adjustment process, from premarriage to remarriage. Included are discussions of questions such as: How do you handle a child's anger over your decision to remarry?; How do you integrate both sets of relatives into your wedding ceremony?; How do you cope with disciplining older step-children?; and, How do your ex-spouse's parents fit into the grand-parenting picture?

Kids Are Nondivorceable: A Workbook for Divorced Parents and Their Children, Ages 6-11 Sara Bonkowski, ACTA Publications, 1987, Paperback, ISBN 0915388316

This useful, practical, self-help book for children and parents going through divorce includes exercises for children. The author sensitively helps parents to understand their own and their children's feelings and to heal them in their journey through divorce.

Letting Go of Anger: The 10 Most Common Anger Styles and What to Do About Them - Ron Potter-Efron and Pat Potter-Efron, New Harbinger Press, 1995, Paperback, ISBN 1572240016

A clear, accessible book containing revealing self-tests and real-life examples designed to help readers better understand their anger styles and offers simple methods for recognizing and changing the ways anger is expressed.

Mom's House Dad's House: A Complete Guide for Parents Who are Separated,Divorced or Remarried
Isolina Ricci, Fireside, 1997 Version, ISBN 0684830787

The ground-breaking classic, now revised, updated and expanded, covers legal, financial and emotional realities of creating two happy and stable homes for children in the often difficult and confusing aftermath of a divorce.

Parents Are Forever: A Step-By-Step Guide to Becoming Successful Co-Parents After a Divorce
Shirley Thomas, Springboard Publications, 1995, Paperback, ISBN 0964637820

The author indicates that this manual is intended for all separated adults who are rearing children when another adult is legally designated as a caretaker. This includes not only divorcing parents but also parents who never married, grandparents, foster parents and legal guardians. Divided into four parts, "Addressing the Problem of Parent Divorce," Preparing to Restructure the Family," "Creating a Co-Parenting Plan," and "Living the Concept of Co-Parenting," this book is written in plain English and can easily be read in one sitting. Dr. Thomas provides insightful suggestions for co-parents with children at different ages and developmental levels, with discussions of possible routines, problem indicators, and corrective steps which can help parents help their children.

Second Chances: Men, Women and Children a Decade After Divorce: Who Wins, Who Loses,and Why Judith S. Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1996, Paperback, ISBN 0395735335

Based on a ten-year longitudinal study of divorce, this book is the first full account of the long-term effects of divorce on the American family. The complexities, tragedies and opportunities inherent in divorce are presented through the exploration of the divorce experiences of three different families. The life stories of these men, women, and children show the ways in which divorce is reshaping and redefining the American family. Using a novelistic and anecdotal style, clinical research data are  presented that capture the essence of the divorce experience of this clinical research population.

Strengthening Your Stepfamily
Elizabeth Einstein and Linda Albert, Random House, 1987, Paperback, ISBN 039475283X

Written by step-parents for step-parents about step-parenting, this book explores the complexities of stepfamily living. Myths about stepfamilies are separated from reality as the authors address issues such as making decisions in a stepfamily, deciding who disciplines the children, helping step-siblings feel like a real family, overcoming the expectations of instant love, and living with ghosts of a former  marriage. In a short book, the authors cover a broad range of difficult topics and the essential groundwork for creating a successful remarried family.

Teens are Nondivorceable: A Workbook for Divorced Parents and Their Children, Ages 12-18
Sara Bonkowski, ACTA Publications, 1990, Paperback, ISBN 0915388367

The companion to Kids Are Nondivorceable (above), this workbook is written by a divorced counselor and teacher specifically for divorced parents of junior high and high school children. The workbook includes creative exercises, practical suggestions, and useful information for parents trying to help adolescents understand and adjust to the separation or divorce of their parents.

Vicki Lansky's Divorce Book for Parents, 3rd Edition
Vicki Lansky, Book Peddlers, 1996, Paperback, ISBN 0916773485

Children do not believe in no-fault divorce. They blame the parents or themselves. No matter what their age, they need reassurance, security and love to get through this painful period. Drawing on her own and others' experiences as well as the expertise of professionals, Lansky gives parents age-specific advice on what reactions to expect from their kids and tips to cope with divorce realities.

Another excellent book for parents who live distant from their children is 101 Ways to be a Long Distance Super Dad - or Mom, Too!, by George Newman. You can purchase this book at The cost, excluding shipping, is $9.95. This book is filled with good ideas which will enable parents and their children to build and maintain strong relationships despite being separated geographically.

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