The Houston Family Law Blog

Ashton and Demi: Feuding Over Money in Divorce Settlement

Ashton Kutcher is cheap. At least that's what the bastion of journalism OK Magazine is reporting.  Despite Kutcher's $700,000 per episode paycheck on Two and a Half Men, he is reportedly dragging his feet in his divorce from Demi Moore.

The reason for the delay? Money.

The couple still has not reached a financial settlement in their divorce.

It's been almost a year since the Hollywood sweethearts split. Ashton was allegedly caught cheating on Demi, after a six year marriage.

They parted ways, although their divorce is still not final. And although he is still married to Demi, Ashton has reportedly been dating fellow actor Mila Kunis; a relationship that's adding salt to the wound for Demi and possibly making the divorce proceedings all the more contentious.

But with considerable wealth on the line, the couple has come to a stalemate in their divorce proceedings.

The couple lives in California, which is a community property state. Like Texas, a couple goes into a marriage with their separate property and acquires property together during the marriage as "community property."

In short, what's owned by a spouse before the marriage is the property of that spouse and what's acquired during marriage is the combined property of both spouses, shared fifty-fifty.

A common issue in many divorces is determining what is community property. Earnings during the marriage, for example, can fall under community property. But it's no surprise that spouses might not want to share their earnings with their soon-to-be-ex. And as such, they might raise the issue of "transmutation", essentially saying that the character of that property changed in some way.

Transmutation can occur, for example, if a spouse kept his or her earnings in a separate bank account to which the other spouse had no access. Or, alternatively, transmutation can occur through the execution of an agreement during marriage, which specifies how a certain asset is to be treated.

Whatever the reason for the delay, we know it's not about one spouse being left in the dark. Demi reportedly had a prenup drawn up when the couple wed, to protect her $90 million fortune, according to Hello Magazine. And Ashton is one of the highest paid television actors in Hollywood.

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