Helping a friend through divorce isn’t easy

Divorce, Family Law

Going through a divorce is an extremely stressful time for most people. It can be hard to know what to say or how to be supportive. A person going through a divorce is often dealing with the loss of time with their kids, a portion of their retirement, their house, and even relationships with their in-laws. It is important to listen to the concerns your friend is having and to provide whatever support they need, whether it is a shoulder to cry on or assistance with moving out of their house.

Our simple tips

No divorce or family is the same so when a friend is going through a divorce, do not try to compare their situation to someone else’s. Going through a divorce can also be very isolating so make sure to continue to include your friend even if they cannot or do not always participate in whatever activity you’ve invited them to. Also remember that being supportive of a friend going through a divorce is sometimes just being a good listener. Some people are not seeking advice and just want to know they have your support.

How to help a friend before they file for divorce

The decision to actually file for a divorce comes with a lot of emotion and should not be taken lightly. If your friend made the decision to file for divorce, there are things that can be done before they file to better understand the process and to have an idea of what is to come.

First, it is important to know that once initial divorce paperwork is filed automatic temporary restraining orders (ATROs) go into effect. These ATROs prohibit the parties from emptying bank accounts and encumbering assets, in addition to other restrictions. It is important that a party who has decided to file does not take actions that could be construed as a violation of these ATROs immediately prior to filing. A consultation with an experienced family law attorney can clarify what your friend can and cannot do.

Additionally, a person who has decided to file for divorce should be prepared to have the other party personally served with the divorce paperwork and should be prepared for the other party to become aware of the filing. Even prior to service, the case becomes “searchable” online and the other party could determine a case has been filed.

There is some strategy that goes into determining the right time to file and what actions can or should be taken before. The best way to ensure the filing party understands the divorce process and the steps to take is to meet with a San Diego family law attorney who can explain the process. JWB Family law is a firm that exclusively practices family law, ensuring each attorney is prepared to handle any and all family law matters. If you or your friend is ready to file for a divorce, contact JWB Family Law to set a consult with one of our experienced attorneys.

The Importance of the CFLS Designation

A Certified Family Law Specialist, or CFLS, is an attorney who has obtained certification in the standards of California family law and demonstrated optimal legal competence. Attorneys who obtain this certification have specific expertise in all aspects of family law, which includes divorce or the dissolution of marriagechild and spousal support, child custody, and temporary restraining orders, among other areas of emphasis.

Not every attorney practicing family law has obtained this certification. In fact, the designation remains relatively rare—there are fewer than 2,000 CFLS attorneys in California and fewer than 200 in San Diego.


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