Lessons Learned from Kim Kardashian’s Divorce

The 72-day marriage between reality star Kim Kardashian and NBA player Kris Humphries that resulted in 543 days of disagreements and legal wrangling, is now finally over, thanks to a judge who quietly granted Kardashian a dissolution in the matter in a Los Angeles courthouse this past Friday.

In case you aren’t familiar with this particular celebrity divorce saga, Humphries had been seeking to have the brief marriage annulled based on accusations of fraud on the part of Kardashian. He petitioned for an annulment after Kardashian filed divorce papers because he felt the marriage was a sham specifically made for the television show “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” on which he appeared. Humphries also demanded $7 million from reality show-generated income and wanted his attorney fees covered paid in full.

However, as details of the couple’s divorce settlement start to emerge, we’ve learned, as the Los Angeles Times reports, that Humphries will get no money, the marriage will be dissolved (a divorce granted) rather than annulled, and the basketball player needs to pay his own attorney fees.

It’s pretty clear who the winner is in this case. But why? Here are some key ways Kardashian was able to prevail:

Prenuptial Agreement: Before the marriage, Kim and Kris entered into a fully executed, “ironclad” prenuptial agreement that reportedly locked down all money issues, including keeping both Kris and Kim’s assets, business interests, and income separate. The brevity of the marriage and the fact that these are two high-earning individuals would make any claims against the provisions of the prenup, including Humphries’ demand for $7 million, difficult to make a case for.

Contracted Business Dealings: Humphries and Kardashian were essentially in business together when they starred in the Kardashian clan’s hit reality show, especially the episodes that featured their wedding and the many lavish gifts they received. Often when a couple operates or participates in a family-owned business, no contracts are put in place to outline the financial ownership of each party, or what would happen to the business in the event of a divorce. People mistakenly think contracts aren’t needed because you are dealing with family.

Not so with Kim and Kris. As multiple news outlets have reported, Humphries had a separate contract stipulating his obligations as a reality show participant and his compensation. Again, given the alleged thoroughness of the contract, it was difficult for Humphries to make any additional money claims and could have also created problems for his annulment claims based on fraud.

Commitment to the Process: The last straw in Humphries’ failed claims may have come when he skipped a court-ordered hearing earlier in April. He simply didn’t show up, which in turn annoyed the judge and led to promises of court fines and sanctions against Humphrey for the no-show. Kardashian, on the other hand? She was on-time for each and every court appearance. In one instance, she asked for a court date to be moved so she could attend a press event. When the judge denied the request, she moved the event rather than miss being in court.

Excellent Legal Representation: After over a year of legal bickering, Kardashian made a smart move in February 2013 by switching lawyers and hiring a Hollywood powerhouse divorce attorney to represent her. It’s little wonder that within a matter of weeks, the end of the marriage seemed suddenly to be on the fast track, and then a mere six weeks later, finally over — with everything Kardashian had wanted in the divorce reportedly part of the settlement.

The final lesson? Never underestimate the difference a good divorce lawyer can make.