Unless you have been living in a cave for the last year, you have seen the Kim Kardashian-Kris Humphries marriage and divorce plastered all over the internet. Kim is a high profile reality show figure and Kris is a professional basketball player.
In what appears to be a publicity stunt by Kim, but unknown to Kris, they enjoyed a lavish wedding and supposedly received $10 million for publicity rights to the wedding. After only 72 days of marriage, Kim filed for divorce. At question here are two legal issues.
Kim wants to keep the $100,000 worth of wedding gifts and has written a check for twice that amount to the Dream Foundation charity. Kris believes the gifts should be returned and wants none of the money, just her wedding and engagement rings back (worth over $100,000). He contends that Kim is guilty of “breaching fiduciary duty.” Each spouse owes a fiduciary duty to the other and their marital estate, so he wants full access to accounting books and financial records.
Seems like a reasonable request, but it’s not unusual in divorce cases for one spouse to refuse to produce those records, forcing difficult discovery procedures. In Texas, I’ve seen cases were the husband produced almost nothing, or pure garbage numbers for over 18 months. Evidentially a Forensic Accountant was hired to determine the financials from statements and copies of checks directly from the banks involved.
Kris Humphries’ attorney states “A spouse may not make a gift of community personal property, or dispose of community personal property for less than fair and reasonable value, without the written consent of the other spouse.” In Texas, Standing Orders are usually issued when a divorce suit is filed which prohibits spending money unnecessarily, or giving away assets, to avoid wasting community assets. Until the divorce is finalized, one party (like Kim Kardashian) would be adviced to not do anything with her/their cash or assets without approval of her spouse and the court. Doing so will come back to bite you.
LESSON TO LEARN: Even celebrities are required to follow the law and knowing the law regarding marriage is important before you marry and before you divorce. Although Kim Kardashian appears to have made a ton of money for her 72 day marriage, she is paying a price in other areas and hopefully helping others to learn from her mistakes. Do not look at her for an example of how to live your life or plan your marriage or divorce. Consult a family law attorney before you enter into a cohabitation or marriage situation. Read the laws in your state and use the internet to protect yourself.