First, let me point out that the division of marital property under the Community Property rules of California and the division of marital property under the Equitable Distribution rules of New York, although not identical, are very similar, with New York giving the judge somewhat more leeway in determining if one party should get more than another.
Concerning a direct answer, your question, if the couple is residing in New York State, the court in the county in which the couple resides in New York State will have jurisdiction, and the marital laws of the State of New York should govern.
If the couple is living in a New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest that they contact me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating their divorce.
By meditating, the parties themselves can determine how to divide their property. It will be quicker, less expensive, and less traumatic for the entire family. I can help. Have them call me.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. /Divorce Solutions