Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner Divorce: Inside Their Fortunes and What's at Stake
The former couple must divvy up millions. Will staying married 10 years change who gets what?
Garner and Affleck filed the docs together and they are both seeking joint legal and physical custody of their three kids. The date of separation, as well as the division of property and any spousal support, is still to be determined.
A source tells PEOPLE the filing is “super amicable.”
In the divorce docs obtained by PEOPLE, both Affleck and Garner noted that they will keep any earnings they made since they separated, so the separation date they determine could affect the settlement. They announced their split on June 30, 2015.
Just how much is at stake? The actors – who were married in 2005 and have three children, Violet, 11, Seraphina, 8, and Samuel, almost 5 – have each earned millions of dollars during their marriage, and estimates of their combined wealth range upwards of $115 million.
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Forbes reported that Affleck earned roughly $43 million in 2016, with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice giving the actor the best box office results of his career, grossing over $870 million worldwide.
While Garner’s movie paychecks are generally less whopping, she has done lucrative commercials for companies such as Neutrogena and Capital One. (Not that she’s not competitive: “I am not anticipating Men, Women & Children taking Gone Girl,” she told TIME last October. “But it would feel great someday to spank him at the box office.”)
Their Real Estate
While the couple has continued to live together on the same property, Affleck has been staying in a guest house. They purchased the 8,800-square-foot from producer Brian Grazer in 2009 for $17.5 million, according to public records. Affleck also purchased a $7 million, 50-acre Southern spread in Savannah, Georgia, in 2003.
“The house they bought together while married, that would likely be considered community property,” says Los Angeles-based divorce attorney Jerry Wang (who is not involved with the couple’s split). “But if there is a home that was purchased by one of them while single, that may be his or her own, separate property, which would not be split up.”
The 10-Year Anniversary Factor
Passing the 10-year mark – which Affleck and Garner did one day after announcing their separation in 2015 – can change how California judges award spousal support. In a marriage considered “long-term,” judges can choose to award support for a spouse’s entire lifetime. But that’s unlikely to be a factor for Affleck and Garner, Wang notes. “You hear a lot of people saying, ‘Oh, celebrities get divorced around the 10-year mark because if they don’t, they’ll be on the hook for spousal support to each other,’ ” he says.
“Generally, the longer a couple has been together, the longer support they can get. But a lot of California courts don’t prefer to award lifetime spousal support because they feel that if one of the spouses is able to support themselves then there’s no reason to give them more,” he adds. “It’s really based on income and earnings.” And any existing prenup or decisions made in mediation could mean a judge never needs to rule about support.
As California is a no-fault divorce state, courts typically enforce a 50-50 division of assets, regardless of who earned more money or spent the most during the marriage, Wang adds.