Women in California may be more likely to leave their husbands than the other way around. A 2015 study by the American Sociological Association found in almost 70% of divorces, women initiated the divorce.

In general, women seem to benefit less from marriage than men and also have higher expectations of it. They often do not receive the support from their husbands that they give. For example, a 2019 study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that even when both spouses worked outside the home, women did more housework daily than men did. In addition to being expected to shoulder the bulk of the child care and housework, women may also find that when they begin making more money than their husbands, their husbands become upset. The journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin reported that a study of 6,000 couples found that many men said their “psychological distress” resulted from their wives’ higher incomes.

Women also often find themselves shouldering the emotional burdens. Men tend to have fewer outlets for emotional support and may rely exclusively on their wives. This can keep them in the marriage. In contrast, women often have multiple sources of emotional support. Because they are more likely to be financially self-sufficient compared to previous generations, women may also leave a marriage where there is infidelity or abuse.

In California, a community property state, shared assets are supposed to be divided equally. This can mean either spouse may have to give up a portion of their retirement account and other property. In a high-asset divorce, the process of dividing property can become complicated. For example, a couple might own a valuable art collection that must be appraised before it can be divided. If appraisals differ, this can delay the divorce.