Kim Kardashian and Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, have officially finalized their divorce settlement. The pair’s split has routinely made the news since Kim filed for divorce in February 2021. While most divorces are not as adversarial as Kim and Ye’s, there is a lot to learn from their split.
It took nearly two years for the couple to completely separate. The process took so long in part because Ye consistently disputed Kim’s requests and filings. For example, he challenged their prenuptial agreement, attempting to have it thrown out and their assets divided according to state law. However, his challenge failed, and the final divorce decree divided the couple’s assets according to the prenup.
Had his challenge succeeded, the couple likely would still be embroiled in their divorce. The pair owned 19 homes, had a joint net worth of more than $2 billion, and owned multiple businesses worth billions as well. Dividing these assets across state and national borders without a prenup in place could have taken years more.
As it was, it appears that child custody made up most of the delay after Ye’s attempt to challenge the prenup failed. The couple has four children. They will share parental rights, and Ye will pay Kim $200,000 a month in child support.
Reaching this decision was likely difficult because both Ye and Kim routinely travel the world. Developing a custody agreement and parenting plan that accounts for interstate and international travel is complex. Co-parents must be willing to cooperate in good faith to establish these agreements without months of litigation.
If you’re considering a divorce as a high-net-worth individual, there are three critical lessons you can take from the Kardashian-West split:
The Importance of Ironclad Marital Agreements
Ye appears to have taken every opportunity to delay the finalization of his divorce. Challenging the prenuptial agreement he and Kim signed in 2014 was likely another attempt to slow down the process, but it may have also allowed him to gain control over some of Kim’s assets and businesses.
The fact that the prenuptial agreement withstood his challenge may have saved Kim millions of dollars and years of time. It removed most assets from consideration during property division, simplifying the divorce process significantly. If you do not have a prenuptial agreement in place, it is worthwhile to consider a postnuptial agreement if you are concerned about your marriage ending in the future.
Dividing Property Across State Lines
The Kardashian-West divorce involved a massive amount of assets in multiple states and countries. Their prenuptial agreement prevented the need to divide most of these assets, but Ye’s dispute raised the question of how they would divide the property if the challenge succeeded.
In general, property is divided according to the laws of the state in which both spouses live. If you and your spouse both live in Florida, your property is handled according to the state’s equitable distribution laws. This means the property will be divided fairly but not necessarily equally between spouses.
In contrast, the property issue is up in the air if spouses live in different states. Typically, the property will be divided according to the law in the state where the divorce is filed. In many cases, it is worthwhile to file for divorce first to ensure that property is divided according to the laws in your home state.
Managing Interstate Child Custody
Dividing child custody is rarely easy, and it was clearly difficult for Kim and Ye. The couple needed to develop an agreement granting them the right to travel with their children while following an equitable time-sharing plan.
Whether you live in a different state from your co-parent or just travel frequently, addressing these concerns in your parenting plan and custody order is crucial. Without a court order or written agreement from your co-parent, it may be illegal to travel with your children outside of their home state. Addressing these child custody issues in advance with the help of a Florida family law attorney can prevent significant legal difficulties later.
Proven Legal Counsel for Complex Divorces
Few people need to address as many concerns during their divorce as Kim and Ye. However, less complex divorces may still take months or years to resolve without expert assistance. If you are approaching a divorce, it is in your best interest to consult with an expert Florida family law attorney such as Harrison Bergman of Bergman Family Law. Our Miami-Dade County firm is dedicated to assisting couples and families with complex family law concerns. Discover how we can help you by scheduling your consultation today.