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my friend has made up her mind to get out... need guidance


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I am looking here for some guidance and help for my friend.

She is I think, 25-26, african American woman, nice, soft-spoken, Christian, very bright (is pursuing 2 doctoral degrees MD/PhD)

married 2-3 yrs ago to a mexican man, didn't have a BS at that time, she pushed him to get his BS, he already has 3 kids from his 1st marriage. They dont' have a kid together. They are married here in CA.

She told me today that he is eating her soul up, she has used up all her savings while he has been saving money elsewhere. He is constantly telling her that she is stupid, she is psychotic and needs to go to therapy. she has been pursuing him to go for therapy for a few years now, but he doesn't budge. He says that he doesn't need therapy. He takes his kids and leaves her alone at home while she is going through very difficult medical boards. He has not even told her if he has filed the tax return or not. She has joined meetup groups to interact with people and make friends so she feels less lonely.

As a result of all this she is losing weight, not eating properly, is running out of money, is feeling lonely, stupid, crying frequently, losing focus on school which is very important at this time. She has made up her mind to get out of this situation.

I'm here to ask for some help

- what resources can she tap into? preferably free?

- what care should be taken from now on until the divorce is finalized?

- what other things would you recommend her to do that would speed up the divorce, make it easy for her to get out? (I don't know what more Qs to ask for)

Thank you very much for your help

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since she is a student at a university, most places offer free counseling for their students. and since she is an MD student, she should maybe find out about the counseling services through the hospital. she can check into the local law school if they have some tips for making the divorce easier, splitting up assets, etc....

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She needs to get a legal separation ASAP so that any debts he incurs are not her responsibility. She can get this done at the courthouse. There are legal docs online that she can print out and fill out, take to the courthouse in her area and pay a small filing fee. There will probably have to be a notice printed in the paper. Here's a link to one such document with the county "fill in the blank": link removed


She needs to go to legal aid to get help filling out the forms to get her divorce started or find an attorney who will handle this for her for cheap. However, the husband can be compelled to pay for the divorce, as well.


Paralegals can be a great resource and can work indepently in CA. They can only help her in filling out the forms, never give legal advice. California is very strict on this, but this is one way of getting a divorce on the cheap if you can't figure out how to fill out the forms.


I wish her luck. Too bad she's not in Seattle. I'd help her get it done.

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