Legal Question in Family Law in California

Good Evening,

I know a friend who needs to file for divorce. She and her soon to be ex has been separated and he refuses to pay for alimony. She is a stay at home mom, with the house under her name and no source of income. Also, she has sole custody of her daughter, her spouse wants nothing to do with his daughter. She needs to get spousal support ASAP, but she cant afford a lawyer. The question I have is, can she hire a lawyer if she cant afford to pay them upfront until after the divorce is filed? Should she go to a non-profit? A major issue is she doesn't speak English. What can she do to start the process, and possibly ask for spousal support?


Asked on 9/16/22, 7:04 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Haapala, Thompson & Abern, LLP

She (or you for her) should look online for pro bono legal services or legal aid groups who can help her, or maybe get her started and then hand her off to a paid attorney once the divorce is filed with emergency support orders. She should also contact the state Child Support Services. They can get child support started pretty quickly and it is a government service so it's free. https://childsupportservices.saccounty.gov/Pages/default.aspx

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Answered on 9/17/22, 8:44 am


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