Helpful Books For People Contemplating Divorce

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By Anna Krolikowska, Family Law Attorney, Immediate Past President, IL State Bar Association

Are you contemplating divorce? As a divorce attorney, I consult with many people who are in this situation. Frequently, I am asked to suggest books to help them with both their decision on whether or not to get divorce, and in the divorce process.

With so many books written about divorce and for those contemplating divorce, it’s hard to tell which ones are the best.  After all, a lot depends on someone’s particular life experiences. However, there are a few standouts.

Before I get to my list, I certainly want to emphasize that their are lots of other good books, however these have time and again proven themselves to be helpful to my clients.  Also, although every person in the process of divorce would be wise to make decisions based on the counsel they receive from their attorney and other trained professionals, I believe reading a few well-written books can be a great supplement.

The following are 7 books for those contemplating divorce:

In my opinion, they are outstanding in terms of their content and point of view regarding interpersonal conflict, communications and the process of divorce.

1. Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations by William Ury

Divorce is often about negotiation and finding a path through conflict (or at least strong differences of opinion) to get to a point of resolution and clarity. This book helps people move through “no” to get to “yes”.


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2. Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen

Divorce is hard. That’s a fact.  Couples, during divorce, are frequently faced with difficult conversation.  This book helps keep the focus on solutions and how to move through the conversations to resolution.

3. Collaborative Divorce: The Revolutionary New Way to Restructure Your Family, Resolve Legal Issues, and Move on With Your Life by Pauline H. Tesler, M.A., J.D., and Peggy Thompson, Ph.D.

I’m a divorce attorney trained in mediation and collaborative process. This is a refreshing approach to what is frequently viewed as a solely litigated field.  Some couples collaborate on the dissolution of their marriage, or on the creation of their prenuptial agreement,  and learning how this process works can greatly aid a couple, especially a couple seeking greater privacy and a focus on what’s best for their minor children (if they have children), and themselves.

4. The Good Karma Divorce: Avoid Litigation, Turn Negative Emotions into Positive Actions, and Get On With the Rest of Your Life by Hon. Michele Lowrance

There’s no question that divorce is painful and facing the dissolution of a marriage is so hard on a couple. This book helps people think through ways they can move through the process toward a happier, more fulfilled future. Buy book

5. Perfect Phrases for Conflict Resolution by Lawrence Polsky and Antoine Gerschel.

Very often clients struggle with how to say the good and necessary things they need to say. This book offers helpful perspective on how to communicate so that you can be heard and appreciated.

6. I Love You Penelope Rose by Tammy Daniele, LCSW

This is a warm-hearted story for younger children that emphasizes kindness, love and how children can face divorce. It’s a good book for preschool-3rd Buy book

7. Kara Kangaroo’s Candy. A Story to Help Children Cope with Divorce by Leigh Neiman Weisz, Psy. D.

This book is especially helpful for children who are coping with the concept of their parent’s divorce.  The book helps children understand that the divorce is not happening because of them or due to their fault.

There are hundreds of books written about communications in adverse situations, negotiating for what one needs and about the many facets of divorce.  I always encourage my clients to explore books that might help them through their experience.  If you have read a good book that you would recommend, please feel free to send me a note at:


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Anna P. Krolikowska, an attorney in the Northbrook law firm of Anna P. Krolikowska P.C, focuses her practice in the area of family law. Anna realizes that importance and the impact family law matters have not only on her clients, but also on their families. From divorce and child custody to any judgment modifications, Anna considers the unique circumstances of each case to develop a course of action designed specifically to address each client’s unique needs.

As a litigator, trained mediator, and a collaborative professional, Anna is able to offer to her clients diverse, and creative approaches to resolving marital disputes.

Anna realizes that family law matters are very difficult for all individuals involved. She strives to treat each client with respect at all times and to provide each client with attention and time they require. She works diligently to maintain open lines of communication, and provide creative options to resolving her clients’ concerns.

In addition to her practice, Anna is President of the Illinois State Bar Association which oversees the operations and management of ISBA, a state-wide voluntary association of more than 30,000 attorneys who strive to educate and serve the public, and improve the practice of law. She is a 2019 Honoree of the “40 Under Forty” award. The award honors 40 attorneys each year. In June 2021 she became the President of the ISBA, making her the 5th female president since its founding in 1877.

To learn more about Anna and her services, visit her website, or call: (847) 715-9328

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