Any recent news not related to the economy or the upcoming presidential election, it would seem, has covered television star Kim Kardashian's wedding to, and now divorce from, basketball player Kris Humphries. Whirlwind romances, weddings, and divorces in quick succession are seemingly common these days, and they should come as no surprise to any California divorce attorney. The story still sheds a light on how the legal process of divorce can take over in a marriage.
Kardashian began dating Humphries in October 2010. They announced their engagement in May 2011. Their wedding on August 20, 2011 was widely publicized, rivalling even the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton (now Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge) earlier in the year. The wedding reportedly cost nearly $20 million, almost all of which was donated or given as a gift, and the couple allegedly made $17.9 million from related publicity.
Kardashian filed for divorce on October 31, 2011, after only 72 days of marriage. She cited "irreconcilable differences" in her divorce petition. This appears to continue a long tradition of brief unions in the entertainment business, and in California in particular, where stars marry and split with amazing speed. The divorce filing prompted much speculation as to the wedding and the marriage itself. Was the marriage just a sham to gain publicity and make money? Will Kardashian and Humphries have to return all those gifts? Can she keep the ring? Aside from the one about the ring, these questions do not usually concern divorce lawyers. Divorce lawyers deal specifically with helping their client obtain a divorce or some other outcome within the legal system. They look almost exclusively at the relationship between the spouses, the property they have acquired, and the best way to help the client reach his or her goals. If this is possible through negotiation and settlement, all the better. If not, they go to court.
California allows "no fault" divorces, meaning a spouse may obtain a divorce without proving any wrongdoing by the other spouse. In legal terms, a spouse seeking divorce must plead to the court that the couple has "irreconcilable differences" that prevent continuation of the marriage. After filing the divorce, spouses must wait six months before a court can grant a divorce, although more complicated cases often take much longer than that. One might think dissolving a marriage of only 72 days would not be complicated, but this is no ordinary marriage.
The spouses reportedly signed a pre-nuptial agreement, which usually dictates how to divide property in the event of a divorce. Under California law, most property acquired during a marriage is “community property,” meaning it belongs equally to both spouses and must be divided in a divorce. In most cases, it would seem unlikely that a couple could accumulate much property in only seventy-two days of marriage. This particular couple may have $17.9 million in new income and gifts thanks to their wedding, so they could have quite a bit to divide. News reports on the pre-nuptial agreement indicate, however, that each spouse walks away with no money from the other.
For more than 35 years, San Diego certified divorce lawyer Thomas Huguenor has represented people finding their way through the California divorce process. For a free and confidential consultation, contact him today through his website or at (858) 458-9500.
More Blog Posts:
San Diego Divorce Analysis: How to Navigate the Family Court System, San Diego Divorce Attorney Blog, August 24, 2011
What Is The cost Of A California Divorce? San Diego Divorce Attorney Blog, August 8, 2011
Divorce California Style, San Diego Divorce Attorney Blog, May 31, 2011