He needs to hire an attorney immediately. A criminal defense attorney will discuss how and why the State has charged your friend with a 3rd degree felony. No attorney can make a good assessment of the case based on the limitations of what you should disclose on this site. At minimum, any defense attorney would have to view the State's file, interview your friend, and gather other data to more accurately and objectively advise your friend.
The State does not have to charge an individual immediately. There is always the possibility that your friend had a warrant out for his arrest a year ago and the police just never picked him up. There might be pictures, witness statements, 911 call, etc... that you are not aware of without viewing the evidence that the State has to continue the prosecution. The possibilities are to many and that is why your friend must hire a competent criminal defense attorney along with a competent divorce attorney.
Legal disclaimer: My answers are only intended as general legal advice based on my experience. They are not intended to be a binding legal opinion nor to create an attorney-client relationship.