How to Get Divorced on a Dime – 10 of the Best Self-Help Divorce Books, eBooks and Websites

Like marriages, divorces come in all shapes and sizes – from friendly and cooperative, to bitter and acrimonious. If a divorcing couple is not going to wage war and is willing to work together to accomplish the divorce, then it is not always necessary for both sides to spend thousands of dollars on legal bills. It may be possible to save money, time, and even minimize confusion by handling some or all of the legal work yourself.

When a divorcing couple is willing to work together to dissolve the marriage, and if the marriage was short without any children, then there are many options for achieving a divorce without having to pay high dollar.

However, this comes with a major caveat: if you are going to try to get divorced without a lawyer, please do your research first.  I highly recommend you buy a few books on divorce and read through them before trying to navigate the tricky legal waters of divorce court on your own.

Working your way through the legal process is extremely difficult, tricky, and fraught with dangerous traps which could have lasting consequences. You need a good guide to help you through.

List of 10 Best Self-Help Divorce Legal Guides

The following is a list of 10 of the best self-help divorce legal guides available on the market.  If you are going to do the divorce on your own, you can use some of these guides as your roadmap. Even if you hire an attorney, you can use one of these books to supplement your research and understanding.

Unfortunately, choosing the right guidebook or resource can be nearly as difficult as hiring the right attorney. The web is full of books, ebooks, websites, and other resources to help divorcing couples navigate the legal process. The array of choices can make your head spin.

The good news is many of these books will teach you everything you need to know; the bad news is, it still won’t be easy. You will still have to read through these guidebooks and possibly do further research.

However, some of these guides are very comprehensive. In fact, it’s a dirty little secret that many of the self-help legal guides aren’t just used by non-lawyers; in fact, many lawyers use these self-help guides as handy practice guides to advise their clients.

This list of resources is most appropriate if your divorce is going to be cooperative and did not result in any children.

In order to mix it up a bit, I also threw in a few books and resources which are not necessarily comprehensive step-by-step guides but are helpful with counseling and advising about the emotional, personal, or financial aspects of going through a divorce.

I should also note that a number of these books are electronic books, or “ebooks.”  I realize some people still consider ebooks to be inferior in some way to old-fashioned paper books.  However, I included these electronic books because 1) ebooks are becoming more and more popular, thanks in large part to the Kindle and the iPad, 2) with an eBook, you get instant access to the information with an immediate download without having to wait for days for your book to arrive in the mail, and 3) eBooks are more environmentally friendly.

So without any further explanation, here are a number of divorce resources which I believe you may find helpful to achieve your own divorce without a lawyer, or to help guide you in addition to your own lawyer’s advice.

1. How to Avoid the Ten Biggest Divorce Mistakes (ebook)

This book is designed to help divorcing couples to avoid common mistakes which happen during divorce cases. The book was authored by Dr. Reena Sommer, who calls herself a “divorce consultant and coach.” Although she is not an attorney, for this type of book it doesn’t matter: this is not a step-by-step “how to get divorced” type of book.  Rather, this book is designed to help you to work well with your attorney, be in a better position to instruct your attorney, and be better able to make informed decisions about the settlement you will need.

I have to say that *if* you have a good divorce attorney, you shouldn’t need this book. That’s because your attorney should do a good job to keep you informed and to educate you about your options throughout your divorce. Your attorney should also ask you questions they need to achieve a good divorce which is in your best interests, and your attorney should help you make informed decisions about any settlement needs.

Of course, not every attorney is good at all of these tasks.

On the other hand, maybe you already have an attorney, and you don’t feel that you’re getting the best service, or else (as is common) your attorney is very busy and you don’t feel like you’ve had all your options fully explained to you, then this book may be valuable to supplement your attorney’s guidance.

One major plus about this book is it comes with a 60-day unconditional guarantee of satisfaction. So if you don’t like the book, you can get your money back.

Price: $27.

Click here to order and download your copy immediately.

2.  How to Do Your Own Divorce in California (ebook)

As its title implies, this ebook gives you the nuts and bolts of how to get divorced in California without using a lawyer.  What’s more significant is the author: the book was written by Ed Sherman, a co-founder of Nolo Press, one of the largest publisher of self-help legal guides (see my review of Nolo’s Essential Guide to Divorce below). Nolo was founded in 1971 to publish Sherman’s first book, How to Do Your Own Divorce in California, at a time when other publishers refused to publish legal self-help books out of fear of being sued for practicing law without a license.

After founding Nolo Press, Sherman later founded Divorce Helpline, a law firm that helps Californians do their own divorces without fighting in court. So not only did he practically invent self-help legal guides, but he also created a law firm focused on helping Californians get divorced without using a lawyer.

Sherman has strong opinions about the role of lawyers in divorces: he makes it clear he thinks lawyers lead to unnecessary complications, higher costs, and more painful divorces.

Sherman also stands firmly behind his book: he offers an unconditional money-back guarantee. There is no 30-day or 60-day limit on this guarantee: if you’re unsatisfied for any reason, you just send it back and get a full refund. That’s a very impressive guarantee.

I am also impressed that Sherman throws in two free ebooks with your purchase: a copy of his Quick Start Guide to a Better California Divorce, a $19.95 value, and a copy of Make Any Divorce Better, a $24.95 value.

Price: $29.95.

Click here to order and download your copy immediately.

3. U.S. DivorcePapers.com (website)

This isn’t an ebook, rather it is a website that provides instant downloads of divorce papers and marriage settlement agreements.  While U.S. DivorcePapers.com provides divorce documents for all 50 states, you should check for free resources as these documents may be available in some states.

In California, for example, most divorce forms are available on the California Judicial Council’s website.  In addition, what is more important than the documents is instructions for filling out the documents. If you have a guidebook which you use in conjunction with the California Judicial Council’s website, and your state does not provide the documents for free, then U.S.DivorcePapers.com could be valuable.

Price for divorce papers per state: $39.99.

Click here to access U.S. Divorce Papers.com.

4. Divorce 101: A Woman’s Guide (ebook).

This ebook is designed to help counsel and coach women going through a divorce.

The book is an outgrowth of a website, WomansDivorce.com, which has been providing advice to women going through divorce since approximately 2001.

The book provides women with advice about the challenges of going through a divorce, practical considerations including how to hire a lawyer, negotiation tips, and advice regarding spousal and child support. The book intends to help hold a woman’s hand throughout the divorce process while a lawyer handles all of the legal maneuverings to handle the actual legal marital dissolution.  In other words, this book alone is not enough to obtain a divorce; you will probably still need a lawyer, or else a good guidebook.

Divorce 101 may not be a perfect substitute for a therapist, but at $19.97, it is far cheaper.

The book also provides numerous worksheets which help you to organize information you will need to put together for your divorce, in order to save time and repeat trips to your lawyer’s office.

Price: $19.97.

5.  Divorced Dad’s Survival Guide (ebook)

Like Divorce 101: A Woman’s Guide, the Divorced Dad’s Survival Guide is uniquely designed to help one gender (in this case men) through a divorce.

This guide was written by a non-lawyer who says he is “just a father that suffered through a disastrous divorce and can help men like you avoid the mistakes I made.”

Even though the author is not an attorney, the book is designed to explain to readers the various stages of going through a divorce, including Arbitration/Mediation, using a private judge, how to work with a divorce lawyer, custody of children issues, etc.

At nearly $50, this is quite a pricey book for a resource that will not march you through the steps to get divorced, but perhaps that is not your goal. If you are a father going through a divorce and looking for a book to advise you about the issues you may face, then you should give this book a shot.

Price: $47.00.

Click here to immediately download the Divorced Dad’s Survival Guide.

6. Insider Secrets and Strategies That Men Must Know to Win Their Divorce (eBook).

Like the previous book, this book is designed specifically to advise men going through divorce.

However, unlike “Divorce 101,” which is more of a counseling book, this ebook was written by an attorney and is designed to help men win their divorce.

The author of “Insider Secrets” says that he used to be “one of the bad guys,” by which he means he used to be a divorce attorney representing primarily women in divorce matters. That unique perspective makes this book a valuable resource to men going through a divorce and seeking a resource guide.

Price: $47.00.

Click here to immediately download “Insider Secrets”

7. Divorce Ammo – What they Don’t tell you about Divorce (eBook)

Unlike the previous book, “Divorce Ammo” was written by a non-attorney but aims to provide more strategic advice explaining divorce tips and strategies. The author makes big promises for the book: he says that the book will help reduce the stress of divorce, lower the amount of money spent on attorney fees, reduce the amounts spent on spousal support, and protect children from the divorce process.

If all of that comes true after reading this book, then everyone should read this book. On the other hand, if just a few of those promises are fulfilled, you still are getting good bang for your buck.

This is not a “How to” guide, but it is a handy strategy guide from the perspective of a layperson who has been through a divorce.

Click here to purchase and immediately download Divorce Ammo.

Price: $19.95.

8. Nolo’s Essential Guide to Divorce (book)

No list of self-help legal reference guides would be complete without a Nolo Press volume.  For more than 35 years, Nolo Press has been putting out self-help legal books designed to help people navigate the often byzantine legal system. True to form, Nolo’s Essential Guide to Divorce is a comprehensive reference guide which will march you through the steps needed to achieve a divorce.

The book is written in an easy-to-read style, complete with frequent subsections, special tips, and referrals to an enclosed CD-Rom which has electronic versions of many of the different forms you will need.

I have numerous Nolo Press volumes on my desk in my law practice and find that they provide an excellent means of accessing often complex legal transactions.

Price: $16.49 with free shipping (for orders over $25) from Amazon.com.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com.

9. 4.  Nolo’s Divorce Without Court: A Guide to Mediation & Collaborative Divorce (book)

In contrast to the previous Nolo’s Essential Guide to Divorce, this book guides you through a negotiated divorce, using divorce mediation or a new approach called “collaborative divorce.” Divorce Without Court explains exactly how mediation/collaborative divorce works and how to use these approaches to end a marriage.

Divorce Without Court also explains how to find and use advisors, provides contact information for local mediation offices, and provides clear examples of how to avoid an acrimonious divorce.

This book would serve as a good supplement to Nolo’s Essential Guide to Divorce, but would not serve in place of it. Divorce Without Court is not a comprehensive, step-by-step guide but more of an alternative approach of reaching the same end destination.

In addition, this book is not for couples with more complex financial pictures. If you have a more complicated financial situation, you may want to find other resources.

Price: $23.09

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com.

10. How to Legally Save Thousands on your Divorce (eBook).

This ebook is focused on helping to decide how to pick out a divorce attorney, or to get the most out of your existing divorce attorney while still saving money on your divorce.   The author says he was inspired to write the book after going through his own divorce in 1997, and then it took him five years to write the book after conducting numerous interviews specifically for the book.

Price: $27.

Click here to purchase and immediately download How to Legally Save Thousands on Your Divorce.

Do you have additional books, ebooks, websites or other resources to recommend? Please leave suggestions of other books, ebooks, or websites related to divorce that we missed in the comments below.

Affiliate Disclosure: You’ll notice some of the links above are affiliate links, but that’s not why we recommend the above resources.  (We get scores of requests from people asking us to tell you about their products and we turn the vast majority of them down.) We’re recommending these resources because they may be valuable resources for individuals going through a divorce.  Click here for our full Affiliate Link Policy.

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