Just as the Understanding-Based Model of conflict resolution was initially born out of a desire to provide an alternative to longstanding assumptions about settling disputes at the barrel of the court system, new and innovative approaches to overcoming the challenges of divorce have evolved over the years to meet the change in family dynamics. Financial considerations, where favor lies by custody determinations, and even the definition of the modern family have changed in America.

Author Jacqueline Newman, who is also the managing partner of the matrimonial law firm Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP in New York City, has written a humorous, insightful, and utterly relevant guide in The New Rules of Divorce: Twelve Secrets to Protecting Your Wealth, Health, and Happiness. Newman’s 12 steps, or secrets, gleaned from decades of experience in litigation, collaborative law, and mediation, tackles topics that couples may not have considered when thinking about divorce through the lens of how things used to be rather than how they are today.

Newman helps readers to know when they are ready to take the leap, tackle financial realities, negotiate custody arrangements, and practice self-care to come out the other end whole and intact, mentally and materially. In the spirit of the understanding-based approach, she also helps readers understand that the modern ‘divorce industry’ can leave both parties feeling like losers when courts decide the outcomes while attorneys profit from years of litigation and highly-charged conflict scenarios, opting instead for an approach that values simplicity with an eye toward mutually beneficial results found through collaborative law and mediation, among others.

From understanding the modern process of divorce to practicing self-care and encouraging open and honest communication to understand whether divorce is essential, Newman’s 12 secrets are crucial to navigating the process holistically while helping readers to prepare for the future through wisdom, guidance, and a path forward – either together or apart, for those amid relationship challenges that may seem impossible to overcome.