Working with Divorcing Spouses : How to Help Clients Navigate the Emotional and Legal Minefield book cover
1st Edition

Working with Divorcing Spouses
How to Help Clients Navigate the Emotional and Legal Minefield

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ISBN 9781593854812
Published July 13, 2007 by Guilford Press
322 Pages

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Book Description

A guide to expanding any psychotherapy practice, this book provides therapists with essential information for helping clients manage the process of divorce with minimal damage to their kids, themselves, and their finances. The author is a prominent divorce mediator who shows how to guide individuals and couples to make sound choices at each step of the divorce process. He clearly explains the legal and practical aspects of divorce, and discusses how legal and emotional processes interact. Topics include helping clients choose the right lawyer or mediator, collaboratively develop custody and parenting plans, and deal with property and support issues. A wealth of concrete examples are included.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Divorce and the Mission of the Therapist

1. Understanding the Problem of Mutuality

2. What is a Good Divorce?

3. Managing the Decision to Divorce

4. Managing the Separation

5. Law and Divorce

6. Understanding Legal Culture and the Impact of Mediation

7. Helping Your Clients Use Lawyers and Mediators Effectively

8. Supporting Clients through Settlement Negotiations

9. Custody and Parenting

10. Child Support and Alimony

11. Dividing Marital Property

12. Helping Clients Manage the Economic Challenges of Divorce

13.Wrapping Up the Agreement

14. After the Divorce: Rebuilding Lives and Managing Conflict

15. Concluding Thoughts

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Sam Margulies, PhD, JD, has been a pioneer in the field of mediation for 28 years. Instrumental in defining the field, he has taught mediation for 20 years, has made numerous presentations throughout the United States, and has published extensively. His book Getting Divorced without Ruining Your Life was one of the first to assert that divorce can be done decently, and without the devastation associated with traditional adversarial divorce. Dr. Margulies lives and practices mediation in Greensboro, North Carolina.


"Drawing on over 25 years of mediation practice, Margulies has provided a very practical and useful book. The many case examples, both positive and negative, reinforce the need for mental health professionals to help families make their way through the painful process of divorce while avoiding the pitfalls of the adversarial legal system. The overall organization is logical, and the book is written in accessible language without resort to complicated labels or arcane arguments. This is an excellent guide that is a great addition to the literature."--Hugh McIsaac, MSW, former director, Oregon Family Institute

"Sure to become the standard reference for therapists who work with clients facing divorce. Margulies takes the mystique out of the legal side of divorce and gives therapists everything they need to know to offer wise counsel to their divorcing clients. He encourages therapists to be proactive and to stake a larger claim in helping clients achieve a peaceful, rational divorce. His blow-by-blow description of the anatomy of a destructive divorce, and of how therapists can intervene at each step to lead clients in a better direction, is pure gold."--Richard A. Warshak, PhD, author of Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent-Child Bond From a Vindictive Ex

"Margulies provides the working therapist with an organized, systematic, comprehensive, and pragmatic guide to the many processes and decisions that have an impact on the experience of divorce. This is not a trivial thing; every therapist should be knowledgeable about divorce, yet it is not well understood by many. In addition to practitioners, graduate students and clinical trainees will find this a valuable text."--Robert A. Simon, PhD, private practice, San Diego, California

"As a mediator and a lawyer, Margulies translates his knowledge of the legal process of divorce into language that mental health professionals can easily understand. In this helpful and positive book, he views divorce through the lens of a family systems professional, showing how the emotional, legal, and financial aspects are interdependent. In reframing the best interests of the child to mean the best interests of the family, Marguiles shows how we can help divorcing couples learn to work cooperatively as parents, with the goal of having a good divorce."--Constance Ahrons, PhD, author of The Good Divorce and We're Still Family

This book serves as a manual for clinical psychologists, family therapists, clinical social workers, counsellors, and psychiatrists. It is also a must for the students of psychology in marital issues and in the field of divorce. Besides the good introduction on the topic of divorce and the mission of the therapist, Margulies follows a systematic way of presentation that explores the meaning of mutuality, separation, and divorce.
--Journal for the Study of Marriage and Spirituality, 6/8/2007ƒƒ
The purpose of this book is aptly carried by its title and subtitle....By his graphic writing of typical couple situations [the author] informs the reader about the traditional divorce process in a way that has an emotional impact. His descriptions are probably the best I've read....He writes from a family systems framework in very basic, non-technical language, making this book useful for a range of professionals beyond those knowledgeable about divorce!
--Family Psychologist, 6/8/2007ƒƒ
Margulies' book urges a practitioner to help couples and individuals through the maze of the emotional and legal divorce process in a practical, nonjudgemental, empathic, down-to-earth, rational manner....The stages of emotional processes are spelled out clearly. There is a basic introduction to the legal nomenclature that is intimidating and which lawyers assume non-lawyers understand. If you are experienced in this work this book is a good refresher to concepts of non-adversarial divorce and other concepts that are helpful for divorcing adults....For neophyte practitioners the book is useful as a clear, uncluttered introduction to the benefits of a non-adversarial perspective on uncoupling and divorce.
--Families in Society, 6/8/2007ƒƒ
Not only practical in its application, but rich in content as a reference for graduate students and seasoned practitioners in the mental health professions. The author's experience in the art of negotiation as well as his credibility as a proven expert provides readers with the information and understanding to enable them to expand their practices and prevent much of the mischief and gratuitous pain imposed on families by the adversarial system of divorce. This is the best book on the subject to date....5 stars!
--Doody's Review Service, 6/8/2007ƒƒ
An unusually sensitive and practical book....Margulies discusses the ways legal and emotional processes interact, and he highlights critical decisions that can help determine whether a divorce is peaceful and constructive or protracted and bitter....This book is an excellent and practical reference for therapists working with clients who are facing divorce....The book ranges from discussing the interaction of the legal, emotional, and subsequent practical processes to the role of the therapist, the impact of divorce on the family, and practical suggestions to help guide clients toward a 'good' divorce....This book is suitable for psychologists, counselors, and all professionals involved in working with divorcing couples. In addition, this book has excellent potential as a resource for clients, teachers, and families of individuals contemplating divorce.
--PsycCRITIQUES, 6/8/2007