One of the casualties of divorce is often retirement assets. However, California spouses who get divorced and have to give up a significant amount of their retirement assets may be able to rebuild those assets so that their retirement plans can remain in place.

Many soon-to-be exes receive an unpleasant psychological surprise when they realize that they will have to split their retirement funds. IRAs, pensions and 401(k)s are all subject to division during a divorce, and there are certain legal documents that have to be obtained in order for these accounts to be divided.

Couples can opt to divide the retirement assets evenly or agree to some other arrangement regarding the funds. The result is that both parties will have fewer retirement assets on hand.

On average, divorced households in the U.S. have a net worth that is 30 percent less than that of non-divorced households. Divorced households are also 7 percent more likely to not have enough funds to get through retirement.

Although rebuilding one’s retirement after a divorce is possible, it can be very complicated. This is because there are contribution restrictions for qualified retirement plans.

When it comes time to resolve divorce legal issues, a family law attorney may advise a client of their legal options. In most cases, it’s better to come to agreements out of court. For example, mediation is popular for many divorcing couples. However, litigation may be used to ensure that a client receives a fair portion of financial assets, such as retirement funds and savings accounts.