Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner may have filed for divorce on June 30, but it could take YEARS for the split to be considered official. The couple have no prenup, which severely complicates their situation, a divorce attorney tells HollywoodLife.com.
The papers have been filed, but legally, Ben Affleck, 42, and Jennifer Garner, 43 are still married…and they may very well remain that way for quite some time. Because the exes reportedly never signed a prenup when they tied the knot in 2005, their divorce could actually be in limbo for years.
“With no prenup, negotiation could last for months, even years,” Vikki Ziegler, top New York City divorce attorney and star of Bravo’s Untying The Knot, tells HollywoodLife.com (Note: Vikki has not worked directly with Ben and Jen’s case). “There’s a lot at stake, including the homes, the children and the bank accounts. There could be a long negotiation if there is an issue between them that we don’t know about, versus them just being friends and amicably resolving their case.”
On June 30, Ben and Jen released a joint statement, revealing their decision to end their relationship after exactly 10 years of marriage (they celebrated their wedding anniversary on June 29). And waiting until that specific date was intentional.
“Generally, in California, a 10-year marriage is ‘long-term,’ which basically allows for courts to retain indefinite jurisdiction over the issue of spousal support,” Certified Family Law Specialist Kelly Chang Rickert told HollywoodLife.com. This means that the court is able to make decisions regarding the couple and how much spousal support one star would have to pay the other.
And since the pair don’t have a prenup, Jen reportedly stands to make a lot when the divorce is made official. “She thinks she should be rewarded for [raising their children],” Star Magazine reports. “She tended to the kids while he went off filming and partying. She’ll do anything for those kids, even if it includes fighting mercilessly for Ben’s money.”
We hope Ben and Jennifer are able to settle this amicably, even though they didn’t have a plan set in place. However, because the pair have allegedly been separated for ten months already, there’s a good chance they’ve already started to figure this stuff out. To hear more about Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, head over to iTunes and download the HollywoodLife podcast for free!
HollywoodLifers, do you think Ben and Jen’s divorce will last years? Or will they quickly figure it out?
— Alyssa Norwin, reporting by Chloe Melas