Divorce Support Groups and Resources in California
- Why consider a California support group?
- List of top California support groups
- Other support resources
- How to find your own California support groups
- What to expect from a California support group
Once, you were part of a team. Now, you're on your own. California courts require plenty of paperwork and processes, and everything can seem isolating. Joining the right California support group could be helpful, and there are many to choose from.
Why consider a California support group?
Support groups vary in composition, approach, and goals. Most divorce support groups allow people going through a divorce to share their thoughts, feelings, and strategies with a group of supportive peers.
In one study of divorce support group efficacy, researchers found that participants felt more normal and less depressed because of their meetings.
The best groups, per a second study, had strong leaders able to provide guidance along with a larger size.
That said, your reasons for joining could be very different. You might sign up because you want to connect with other people going through something similar. You might also like a safe space to discuss your thoughts and feelings as you work through a difficult time in your life.
List of top California support groups, in-person and online
Several support groups in California are accepting new members. The following options could be right for you and your situation:
DivorceCare is an online platform made for people working through a divorce. Both online and in-person support group options are available, including many meetings held in California.
Sign up for a 13-week program, and you'll gain access to videos and training seminars designed to help you make smart decisions and find peace. The sessions are structured, so you can't discuss anything you'd like. But many people appreciate the set format.
My Support Forums
Originally developed as part of the website Psych Central, My Support Forums is an online community with many mental health support groups. A professional examines the posts, but participants are willing to discuss almost anything they'd like to. Start a conversation about your divorce, or join in on other topic threads and get the support you need.
The online forum Support Groups contains an active page devoted to divorce with more than 54,000 members. Start a discussion with a topic that's pertinent to your California divorce, or read through other posts and learn how your peers handle similar problems.
Women in Transition
The ongoing Women in Transition support group for women holds in-person meetings guided by a licensed and trained facilitator. Discuss topics pertaining to divorce, or talk about other transitions (like job loss or a new home) that cause you pain or fear.
You’ll be able to work in a safe and supported space surrounded by other women. There are fees to join, but they may be covered by your health insurance plan.
DivorceCare for Kids
Just as you might benefit from a support group, your kids might, too. DivorceCare for Kids is a nationwide organization designed to help children transition, and the organization has in-person meetings in California. The groups follow a traditional Christian format which may appeal to some parents.
Other support resources to consider
We've listed several support groups to choose from in California, but there are many other places you could use to find like-minded people to help you through the divorce process.
Good options include the following:
- Psychology Today: Many support group meetings led by therapists are listed on this website. Some come with fees to participate; others are free. Check the listings regularly, as they can change frequently.
- Reddit: Chat rooms like r/Divorce are filled with people from all across the United States who are moving through divorce. You may not find California-specific tips here, but you could get help and support.
- Facebook: Private groups like Divorce Support Group for Women are made for people moving through this process. You may find California-specific groups on a search, too. Participants give each other advice, tips, and support.
- Meetup: This social platform offers meetings on all sorts of topics, including divorce. Search for in-person divorce support groups near you, or join an online support group made up of people from all around the world.
How to find your own California support groups
Professional and online support groups aren't your only options. Smaller, local groups could help you connect with people in your community and get targeted support from others who are also working through a California divorce.
Try the following search options:
- Your therapist or counselor: Mental health professionals often hold support group sessions for their shared clients. If you're working with someone like this, ask about meetings you could join.
- Your doctor or health insurance company: Stress and anxiety can cause physical symptoms. Your doctor or insurance company might encourage you to join a support group to get help and connect with others.
- Your church or synagogue: Your religious organization may allow meetings to gather in their facilities, or they may have meetings that could be just right for you and your situation.
If you can't find a formal support group that seems right, reach out to your friends and family. You may find a few peers who are either going through a divorce or have done so in the past. They could help you sort through decisions and difficulties, functioning as an informal support group. Turn to these people when you feel uncertain or in need of encouragement.
What to expect from a California support group
Support groups aren't designed to provide legal advice or solutions. Instead, think of them as safe spaces where you can discuss your feelings and learn from your peers.
Everyone moving through divorce has topics to discuss, but sometimes, it's hard to find the right audience. Your friends and family may not understand how you feel, and speaking with them could leave you feeling more isolated.
Expect to find a listening ear in a divorce support group. Everyone there wants to discuss this topic.
Support groups are filled with individuals in pain, and things can get messy. Don't expect everyone to be 100% focused on you and your needs at all times. But do expect to find people in your situation, ready to listen and help when they can. Joining one could be exactly what you need.
Suggested: Tips for Boosting Your Mental Health
ReferencesAn Evaluation of Divorce Support Groups. (October 2008). Journal of Divorce and Remarriage.
Divorce Support Groups: How Do Group Characteristics Influence Adjustment to Divorce? (November 2000). Social Work With Groups.