California residents whose marriages are ending may have a lower standard of living after the divorce. Often, this happens to women because they still make less than men do at around 82 cents to the dollar. The gap is even greater in certain fields or with other variables. There are a number of reasons for this including the likelihood that caregiving duties will fall to women, and this means they may work part time, have less chance for career advancement and save less money.
It is important for the person in a divorce who has made less money to prepare financially. Knowledge is one part of these preparations. A person who is largely unacquainted with the family finances might want to take a class or consult a professional to better understand how to plan a budget and set financial goals. The person will need to consider expenses, income, assets and goals in making a financial plan for after the divorce.
Moving from two incomes to one may come as a shock, but it might be best to make the financial plan without considering child support or spousal support because these are likely to be temporary. A person should also take into account that retirement plans may change.
In a community property state like California, most property acquired after marriage is treated as shared marital property. There may be a few exceptions such as inheritances that are kept separate from the family income. Most other assets that were not brought into the marriage originally are subject to being divided 50/50. However, a couple may decide in divorce negotiations that they want to split up their assets in a different way.