By Leslie O’Neal
What seemed to be the never-ending divorce battle between Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries has finally reached its long awaited conclusion. On June 3, 2013, the Los Angeles Superior Court granted a final decree of divorce, effectively dissolving their marriage in its entirety. The couple was married only 72 days before Kardashian filed for divorce, but the divorce proceedings lasted nearly two years. Both sides agreed that they had signed a Pre-Nuptial Agreement, which begs the question; what took so long?
Humphries spent the majority of the divorce proceedings pursuing an annulment rather than a divorce. Georgia law allows for an annulment if the Court declares the marriage void. The most common way to convince a Court that a marriage in Georgia is void is if one of the parties was either unable to contract (such as a minor), or if one of the parties was fraudulently induced to contract. Other reasons might be that one party to the marriage had a previous, undissolved marriage and therefore, was not eligible to marry in the first place.
Kris Humphries alleged that he was fraudulently induced by Kim Kardashian to marry her. He pointed to the fact that their wedding was televised for her reality TV show to support his assertion that she induced him to marry her in order to gain publicity. Kardashian denied these claims, and testified in her deposition that she genuinely loved Humphries and that her reality show had nothing to do with her decision to marry him. Because Humphries was seeking an annulment, he was entitled to engage in an extensive amount of discovery during the divorce case to prove his claims.
Discovery is common in divorce cases, and enables each party to obtain facts and evidence that could be used in the trial phase of the case. Because discovery allows for the exploration of evidence which might be relevant to the case, rather than evidence which is truly relevant, it is very broad and allows each party to seek a wide-range of information. Humphries was permitted to serve witness subpoenas and take the deposition testimony of Kardashian’s boyfriend, Kanye West, her mother, Kris Jenner, and others who were involved in the production of her reality show and the preparation of their wedding. Scheduling depositions takes time to coordinate, and inevitably contributes to delay.
On the eve of trial, Humphries abandoned his desire to seek an annulment and entered into a Settlement Agreement with Kardashian, which allowed the couple to proceed with a standard Divorce Decree. Luckily for Kardashian, this process was complete before the summer, as she is expecting a baby with her current boyfriend, Kanye West, in July.