Spousal Support Claims, No Prenup: Inside Demi And Ashton’s Divorce

In celebrity divorce news, there’s no bigger story right now than than the marital split of Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. While the couple officially separated in late 2011, Kutcher waited for over a year to file official divorce papers. And now, in what can only be described as a bombshell development in the case, Moore has just filed court response documents in which she seeks spousal support. Multiple news sources are also reporting that the couple had no prenuptial agreement, leaving open the door for Moore to claim part of the estimated $100 million dollar fortune Kutcher accumulated over the course of their marriage.

However, could Moore, who in 1996 was named the highest-paid actress in film history, actually win an alimony settlement — or claim any part of her former husband’s millions, when she has untold millions herself?

Ultimately, it’s up to a judge to decide, but for any couple embroiled in a dispute over alimony payments, several factors are taken into account before a support award is made.

How long was the couple married? In Kutcher and Moore’s case it was only six years, which is considered relatively brief in terms of martial longevity.

Can both parties maintain marital standard of living? One of the major factors when determining spousal support is each party’s ability to maintain the marital standard of living following the divorce. It seems that if her net worth far exceeds his (although we don’t know by how much) Moore will be able to maintain marital standard of living based on her own assets and investment income; therefore, she wouldn’t need support from Kutcher.

What is each party’s earning potential? Although Moore hasn’t worked much over the last several years it’s not as though she stopped working to support Kutcher or to take care of children. Moore has the potential for accepting new and additional acting jobs in order to produce income.

One area where Demi could triumph? If the couple didn’t have a prenup, a claim for part of Ashton’s assets earned during the marriage could stand. If he really was earning $24 million a year, as sources say, chances are they put the majority of that income away. In California, which is a community property state, Demi could be entitled to an even split of Ashton’s marital income. It should be noted that New Jersey is an equitable distribution state which follows a different set of standards for asset division.

We’re also hearing that despite the high-profile and very public nature of Demi’s response papers, lawyers for the former couple are working feverishly behind the scenes to reach a negotiated financial settlement. In other words? Since money seems to be at heart of this split (the couple had no children), the details of this contentious split will likely never be public knowledge — all of this, at the end of the day, may only be only speculation.