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Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck announced their plans to divorce just yesterday and fans are already wondering what the breakup means for the exes' multi-million dollar fortunes.
As E! News noted Tuesday, the actors' split announcement came just one day after the longtime couple's 10th wedding anniversary. So does their decade of marriage affect who gets more money post-divorce?
"The ten year mark is the period after which, in California, the marriage is considered a long term marriage," L.A. celebrity divorce attorney and co-author of Inside the Minds: Strategies for Family Law in California: Leading Lawyers on Developments in California Family Law Fahi Takesh Hallin tells E! News. "Normally the presumption is that spousal support or alimony is payable for a period half the length of the marriage unless it is a long term marriage which is ten years or longer. It no longer applies if the marriage is ten years or more, then you can ask relatively for endless support if you make less. If you make more, you can't ask for support."
While post-split spousal support is still up in the air for Garner and Affleck, division of the duo's community property (the homes and assets they accumulated during marriage) doesn't depend on how long they were together.
"The ten year marriage makes zero difference. It is always 50/50 for anything acquired during the marriage," Hallin tells E! News. "That means whatever they earned or saved on projects they worked on. It could include residuals or royalties or money for appearances for instance. It is anything they earned on efforts they made during the marriage."
The fact that Garner and Affleck were separated for 10 months prior to their decade anniversary makes no difference either. "Generally if it is a trial separation the community property continues to accrue until the date that either of you decides the marriage is over. If it isn't a legal separation then the community property still accrues," Hallin said.
As for custody of their three kids, Violet, Seraphina and Samuel, length of marriage has no weight in the matter of custody.
Yesterday, a source told E! News that Garner and Affleck's divorce is "not contentious" as both parents want what's best for their children. "They will be co-parenting," a source says, adding that Ben will be living on their property in a different building.