How will Jen and Ben split their property?

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The latest celebrity split is no doubt one that makes a lot of people sad. Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck announced that they are divorcing after 10 years of marriage. Sources say that the split is amicable and that the Hollywood power couple, who has three children between the ages of 3 and 9 years old, plans on using mediation to iron out the issues they face as they go their separate ways.

The couple has more assets than most of us. The two have a reported estimated wealth of over $115 million. However, the laws that govern the division of those assets are the same as for other Californians. We live in a community property state, which means that all assets and debts that were accumulated during the marriage are generally equally divided in a divorce.

The timing of the split, at just past their 10-year anniversary, may not be a coincidence. When a couple has been married for over a decade, it is considered a “long-term” marriage by legal standards. That means that judges can grant one spouse support for the remainder of his or her life.

However, as one California divorce attorney notes, that is not always the case — particularly if both spouses have enough money to support themselves. In this case, it certain appears that they do. Affleck has been the larger wage earner in recent years, bringing in about $35 million last year. However, Garner has been making films as well as doing commercials. It hasn’t been reported whether the two had a prenuptial agreement.

Their property is also not insignificant. They purchased their home in 2009 for a reported $17.5 million. Affleck also owns a 50-acre ranch, for which he reportedly paid $7 million, before he married Garner. That may be considered solely his property in the divorce.

In what they called their only statement on “this private, family matter,” the two said that the move to divorce was a “difficult decision.” They also spoke of their “commitment to co-parenting our children.”

Anyone who is considering or believes that his or her spouse in considering it would be wise to speak with an experienced California family law attorney sooner rather than later. Regardless of the value of your property and other assets, it’s essential to work for a fair division that will help you and your children move forward as comfortably as possible.

Source: People, “Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner Divorce: Inside Their Fortunes and What’s at Stake,” Jacqueline Andriakos, June 30, 2015

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