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

Sam Margulies

322 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
June 2007
ISBN 978-1-59385-481-2
Cat. #5481
Price: $42.00 $35.70

CE credits

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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.”


“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
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