7 Co-Parenting Books That Take the Stress Out of Life Post-Divorce

Nobody has all the answers when it comes to life after divorce and co-parenting a blended family or step-siblings, but these books are a great place to start.

Even if a divorce is the smoothest, most amicable one in history, there will still be no guarantee that navigating co-parenting won't have a few hiccups along the way.

But before you start to feel overwhelmed, just know that you are not alone! Many families have created loving, safe, and thriving co-parenting agreements and routines. Thankfully, there are books on the market that offer some wise advice to help you figure out the best co-parenting situation for you and your family. Here are seven books to help you get started.

01 of 07

Parenting Apart

Book cover for Parenting Apart by Christina McGhee

One of the best "starter" co-parenting books, Parenting Apart: How Separated and Divorced Parents Can Raise Happy and Secure Kids by Christina McGhee, provides solutions to some of the early big issues faced by divorcing parents, such as how and when to tell kids about the split.

It also suggests a simple vocabulary to help everyone transition to the new parenting style—such as "on- or off-duty parent" and "two-home concept"—and offers advice on explaining this to every age group, from toddlers to teenagers.

02 of 07

Healthy Children of Divorce in 10 Simple Steps

Book cover for Healthy Children of Divorce in 10 Simple Steps by Shannon Rios Paulsen

Healthy Children of Divorce in 10 Simple Steps: Minimize the Effects of Divorce on Your Children by Shannon Rios Paulsen, LMFT is based on a simple, 10-step process to help co-parents communicate effectively and make the best decisions for their kids.

Dwelling on the past is something many co-parents struggle with, and this book offers actionable steps to help discharge that burden and focus on a happier, more harmonious future.

03 of 07

Mom's House, Dad's House: Making Two Homes For Your Child

Book cover for Mom's House, Dad's House by Isolina Ricci, Ph.D.

Top of many a list of best co-parenting books is Mom's House, Dad's House: Making Two Homes for Your Child. Written by an internationally renowned therapist, family expert, and mediator, Isoline Ricci, Ph.D., it combines a practical framework for healthy co-parenting (checklists, guidelines, and self-tests) with a deep dive into the psychology behind why certain people are better equipped to co-parent than others. (It's no surprise that high-conflict spouses are more likely to be high-conflict co-parents.) Mom's House, Dad's House help parents understand the "why" to make the "how" a little easier.

04 of 07

The Co-Parenting Handbook

Book cover for The Co-Parenting Handbook by Karen Bonnell

The age of your kids is an important factor when creating a new co-parenting family structure, and The Co-Parenting Handbook: Raising Well-Adjusted and Resilient Kids from Little Ones to Young Adults through Divorce or Separation by Karen Bonnell provides advice and tips for kids of all ages.

It offers concrete ideas like a shared list of co-parenting goals (with a sample list included) and co-parenting communication guidelines, but it also addresses the emotional impact of separation, conflict, grief, and recovery on kids.

05 of 07

Mindful Co-Parenting

Book cover for Mindful Co-Parenting by Jeremy S. Gaies and James B. Morris

Mindful Co-Parenting: A Child-Friendly Path Through Divorce is written by two clinical psychologists, Jeremy S. Gaies, Psy.D., and James B. Morris, Ph.D., which is reflected in their direct yet reassuring style.

This easy-to-digest, step-by-step guide is designed to help parents identify their kids' needs and create a comprehensive co-parenting plan that best meets those needs. Many parents will find the guidance on evaluating their conflict level incredibly useful.

06 of 07

Co-Parenting 101

Book cover for Co-Parenting 101 by Deesha Philyaw and Michael D. Thomas

Co-Parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households After Divorce by Deesha Philyaw and Michael D. Thomas is an exhaustive guide to parenting across two households.

The chapters "Fifteen Things You May Want to Do (But Must Not Do) as a Co-Parent" and "Fifteen Things You Must Do (But May Not Want to Do) as a Co-Parent" are great levelers when you may be tempted to act in a way that's not in the best interests of your child. And because a formerly married, co-parenting couple wrote it, it hits just the right tone.

07 of 07

Joint Custody With a Jerk: Raising a Child With an Uncooperative Ex

Book cover for Joint Custody With a Jerk by Julie Ross and Judy Corcoran

Parenting is hard enough when parents show each other compassion and respect. Co-parenting with someone who is difficult, selfish, and irrational can feel like an impossible task. It might never be a walk in the park, but Joint Custody with a Jerk: Raising a Child with an Uncooperative Ex by Julie A. Ross and Judy Corcoran helps make it a little easier.

By providing real solutions to tough issues and a range of teaching tools and proven communication techniques, plus a very timely look at how digital forms of communication can be both positive and negative, it's the definitive guide for high-conflict custody situations.

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