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Demi Moore Files Divorce Papers in Ashton Kutcher Split

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By Deanne Katz, Esq. on March 07, 2013 10:17 AM

It's been more than a year since Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher broke up, but it looks like one of our favorite cougars is only just now filing her own divorce papers.

The couple separated in November 2011 but they didn't make any moves to officially divorce for over a year. Then in December 2012, Kutcher filed for divorce.

The couple has been trying to negotiate a confidential settlement, and Moore was reportedly waiting until it was decided before filing her response to Kutcher's divorce petition. But now it looks like the discussions have stalled, as Moore's filing indicates she may be ready to go to trial.

It's unusual that Demi Moore is only just now filing her response. Normally under California law, she would only have 30 days to file a response; if not, the filer (in this case Kutcher) would be one step closer to getting a divorce by default.

But Moore's timing may indicate that she filed for, and received, an extension from the court.

What's not so uncommon is for couples to remain separated for a while instead of filing for divorce. After all, the process of getting a divorce is expensive.

In marriages without children and where both parties have enough income to support themselves, getting a divorce right away isn't necessarily a priority. If the two people can work out an informal arrangement, they might stay legally married but separated indefinitely.

The cost of divorce may not have been the primary concern for Kutcher and Moore, but the process of splitting their assets is certainly daunting. The couple has to determine how to divide things fairly.

That seems to be causing a problem for the former couple, reports People. If the couple can't reach an agreement, their case will likely go to court and a judge will determine how to divide their assets. Since they filed for divorce in California, the community property rules apply.

Community property dictates that when couples divorce, they divide all marital property in half by default. That means almost any income, assets, or debts acquired during the marriage should be evenly split. Only a few things are exempt, like an inheritance.

The parties can make any agreement they want about how to divide their property; a prenup agreement may also dictate their actions. But if they can't reach an agreement, the court will likely just divide everything in half.

That could be what's in store for Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher if they can't reach a settlement. That means they have a lot of work to do if they want to keep the details confidential.

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