2020 was not an easy year for many relationships. Studies show that the divorce rate in California alone has spiked immensely. Couples who normally had the security blanket of leaving for work every morning were now being forced to stay home, and dare I say it…. spend time together. This created a lot of problems for many relationships that were avoiding the inevitable. With couples having to spend 24 hours in the same home, many slowly began to realize that maybe their marriage wasn’t as harmonious as they once had believed. COVID-19 has profoundly expedited the end of many relationships and marriages. Divorce rates have spiked and it has never been a busier time in the family law community.
So, it’s no surprise that celebrities are following suit. Kim Kardashian West has filed for divorce, seeking to end a nearly seven-year marriage to Kanye West that seemed to be coming for many months. In the past few years, Kanye West has run for U.S. president with no political qualifications, followed by his admission into Los Angeles’s Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center for “observation after suffering from exhaustion”, according to Billboard Magazine. He has also made some unnecessary comments via social platforms like Twitter, making his manic episodes even more public and embarrassing.
According to Entertainment Today, the infamous couple are already in the process of reaching a property settlement agreement. When it comes to custody of their four children together, North, 7, Saint, 5, Chicago, 3, and Psalm, 1, Kim is asking for joint legal and physical custody, which Kanye agrees to. They are dedicated to co-parenting together.
While many issues are likely to have already been decided on in their extensive prenuptial agreement (all the more reason why you should protect yourself with one), the two have a combined net worth of over 2 billion dollars. That is likely going to leave a lot questions to be unanswered even with a prenuptial agreement in place.
According to Forbes, Kanye West has the highest net worth, at over a billion dollars. Most of his value is in his apparel company. Kim’s net worth is estimated to be around $750 million. Most of her net worth is in a cosmetics company. According to Forbes, real estate makes up less than five percent of their net worth. Thus, it seems like the main issue in their divorce will be their valuation of business assets.
So, what can we learn from this? Two things: (1) If you have assets to protect, make sure to talk to your future/current spouse about getting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement (see our previous post about prenups). At the very least, you should be exploring whether or not you should get one. This will encourage you to initiate the very “unsexy” conversations that come up in a marriage, like “who takes care of our parents if they get sick? Are we having kids? Are they going to go to public or private school? How much are we saving for retirement? Who is responsible for student loans?” Etc. Most importantly, (2) Do not wait to file for divorce if you realize your marriage is doomed. If COVID and this past year have taught us anything, it is that life is too short to be miserable marriage. If Kim K. can do it, you can do it.