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Who gets what in your divorce settlement?

On Behalf of | Nov 25, 2011 | Firm News

Mere days after Demi Moore announced that she planned to divorce Ashton Kutcher, people are already speculating how they will divide their shared $290 fortune.

Moore, 49, was one of the highest-paid actresses of the 1990s, and Kutcher, 33, is seeing his own earnings build as Charlie Sheen’s replacement on the sitcom “Two and a Half Men.” He’s also earned a sizeable amount from investments in some 40 different technology investments. Still, according to celebritynetworth.com, Moore’s net worth is $10 million higher than Kutcher’s.

The division could be a simple one, since they reportedly signed a prenuptial agreement when they got married in 2005. And while rumors continue about Kutcher’s alleged infidelity, an attorney not involved in the case told HollywoodLife.com that it wouldn’t affect the settlement anyway.

The average couple filing for divorce doesn’t have Moore and Kutcher’s massive net worth, but the issues are similar on a smaller scale. When it comes to dividing property, for example, Texas follows the same rules as the celebrity couple’s state of California. It’s a “community property” state, so if the couple can’t agree on how to split up their belongings, all items that the couple shares is divided evenly, and everything they own separately they keep for themselves. Community property includes everything the couple acquired together during the marriage, including debts (assuming both names are on the documents, such as a loan).

When it comes to living quarters, deciding who keeps your home may depend on whether you have children. Very often the parent with primary custody keeps the house, if you own one. If there are no children involved and you and your spouse can’t agree on who should get the house, a court may decide for you. Although if one of you bought it with non-joint funds, chances are that person will be entitled to keep it.

Splitting up property and assets is one of the most difficult parts of divorce, even when a couple remains amiable. Established state laws and a divorce professional may be able to help you prevent things from getting ugly — and, unlike Ashton and Moore’s split, all too public.

Source: Daily Mail, “Demi and Ashton are no Moore … now for the $290m divorce battle,” Chris Johnson, Nov. 18, 2011