We study the effect of a white dwarf on the spin-down of a cataclysmic variable (CV) system using a three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic numerical model. The model includes the stellar corona, the stellar wind, and the WD mass and magnetic field. The existence of the WD modifies the system spin-down by physically blocking the stellar wind, restructuring the wind, channeling the wind toward the WD surface, and modifying the shape and size of the Alfvén surface. The combination of these processes differs among a set of simple test cases, and the resulting angular momentum loss rates vary by factors of 2-3, and by factors of 2 relative to a test model with a single M dwarf. While the model employs some simplifications, the results suggest that angular momentum loss schemes currently employed in CV studies do not require drastic revision. Insights are also gained on wind accretion. We find that efficient accretion switches on quite rapidly with decreasing orbital separation. Accretion rates depend on magnetic field alignment and should be modulated by magnetic cycles on the M dwarf. For particular values of white dwarf magnetic field strength, an efficient syphoning of coronal plasma from the inward facing M dwarf hemisphere occurs. Wind accretion rates are expected to vary by factors of 10 or more between fairly similar close binaries, depending on magnetic field strengths and orbital separation.