Getting divorced in California is a relatively complex process, particularly when your family has more assets than most. The more possessions like second homes, investment properties, stocks, bonds and retirement accounts you own, the more complex asset division becomes. In some cases, if the property, like a vacation home, belonged to one spouse before the marriage, it can easily remain the property of that individual. For most everything else, California is a community property state. All income and assets accrued during your marriage should be shared evenly between spouses.
Of course, one spouse typically makes more. The discrepancy can be quite substantial in cases where one spouse stays home to care for the house and children. Because of community property laws and the complex nature of asset division, it's critical that you speak with an experienced California divorce attorney as soon as you know a divorce is imminent. Your attorney can help determine the best strategy for asset division and can even determine accurate values for more complex assets, such as fine art or valuable collectibles. Trying to divorce without an attorney could cost you a lot of assets.