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Divorcing couples may take cues from Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher

It's no surprise that the Internet is abuzz over the breakup of Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. There's something about a celebrity divorce that piques our interest. Some of us like a good showdown. Others of us want to see how big stars handle the everyday problems the rest of us face, albeit on a much grander and more public scale.

Even if you and your divorcing spouse don't have Moore and Kutcher's multimillion-dollar assets to bicker over, some of the issues the celebrity couple are battling may apply to your own situation.

Take the prenuptial agreement. Moore and Kutcher signed one, which should make the division of their property a bit easier. Although at least one celebrity news source reports that Moore intends to push her attorneys to "punish him financially" for his alleged infidelity, the couple's assets are likely to be divided according to that original contract.

Didn't sign a prenup when you got married? Then state laws will likely dictate how you and your spouse split up your possessions. Georgia is considered an "equitable distribution" state, which means that a judge decides how to fairly split things up, rather than simply dividing your house and all of your other property in two. This could mean that your soon-to-be ex gets a bigger percentage -- or perhaps you will, depending on the circumstances.

Those circumstances can vary widely, by the way. If one of you alleges that the other had an affair, that may affect the settlement. But if a judge determines that such accusations are false, the accuser can come out worse in the end and end up with much less, from the house to the kids.

Just as celebs Moore and Kutcher have done, hiring an attorney who specializes in family law can be helpful in obtaining a fair settlement, and in making the process easier for both you and your spouse.

Source: CBS News, "Demi Moore to fight for Ashton Kutcher's fortune in divorce?" Camille Mann, Nov. 21, 2011

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law

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