Remember when Demi Moore made headlines with her then-record $12 million payday for Striptease?
Well, that was 15 years ago.
Ashton Kutcher's career, meanwhile, took off about two years after that when he was cast on That '70s Show—and he's been making bank ever since from movies, TV residuals, his production company, etc. And that was before he became the highest paid sitcom star overnight when he landed Two and a Half Men.
So that means...Demi wins?!
"We all know that during their marriage, he probably made lots more money than her, and if there is no prenup, she is entitled to 50 percent of whatever he accumulated during marriage," certified family law specialist Lisa Helfend Meyer tells E! News.
Though she filed for divorce from Bruce Willis in Idaho, where they had a home, Moore will almost certainly file for divorce in California, a no-fault state where the divorce process can be completed in six months and the spousal support laws are more liberal.
"Under California law, whatever you acquire together, whether it is a dollar or a hundred million dollars, you split it in half," Meyer says.
Not that Moore isn't making any money on her own. A Forbes analyst put her 2011 earnings in the $5 million range. But Kutcher has made an estimated $7 million from Two and a Half Men alone this year, not counting all the other pots he has a spoon in.
"When she was married to Bruce, she was at the height of her career making around $20 million a picture, and when she was married to Ashton it was the exact opposite," says Meyer, adding that California has the "highest support orders in the world."
"You are roughly going to pay 30 to 40 percent of your income toward spousal support," she notes. "Assuming he makes $10 million a year, that is a lot of money."
And assuming Moore and Kutcher didn't sign a prenuptial agreement when they tied the knot in 2005, which isn't an assumption that anyone's making at this time.
Meanwhile, Meyer doesn't expect a drawn-out, public court battle.
"If he were smart, I think he would want to do this quietly," she says of Kutcher. "He doesn't want everything that he has [allegedly] done to be disclosed in the media. Given the fact that he is on Two and Half Men and that Charlie Sheen preceded him, I don't think he will want to sully his reputation. He has endorsement contracts with places like Nikon. I think he is going to do this as quietly as he can."
And as quick as they can, too.
"He's not going to want to write monthly checks," Meyer suspects. "He will probably just say, 'Here is $50 million' and let's call it a day.'"
Moore announced yesterday that she planned to end her marriage after six years "with great sadness and a heavy heart."
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