The Kardashian – West wedding in 2014 was a $7 million destination event in Italy, complete with celebrities flying in on private jets and tours of Versailles. When all was said and done, some sources report the price tag actually went up to over $17 million. But we all know that a wedding isn’t a marriage. As of July 2020, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were reportedly telling the press and friends that they were “done.”
The couple is now purportedly in talks to divide their assets and negotiate a settlement. That’s no easy task when the communication between them had gotten “downright toxic” even before they agreed to split. Add to the mix that, according to the press, Kim is insisting that all publicity on an agreement be kept to a minimum so her family’s reality show can use it as a high-drama reveal.
Do ordinary folks face some of these same hurdles when going through a divorce in California? Obviously, Kim and Kanye don’t have to worry about the cost of the divorce, but the average person probably does. Let’s take a look at two of the top issues all couples must tackle, whether they live in mega-mansions or suburban townhouses. And since most people don’t have billions of dollars, we’ll also cover some of the ways to minimize costs in a divorce.
Dividing Property and Debts
The biggest issue in the Kardashian – West situation is apparently over the $40 million family home in Calabasas, California. She owns the land it sits on while he owns the house itself. Titling property during marriage requires thinking about a future neither wants to envision; when Kim and Kanye set up the ownership of the property this way, like most couples, they probably didn’t even think about how it might be divided later. Now it’s the major issue in their settlement.
You must also know the law in your state about dividing assets. It’s not hard to find that information, and it can save you a great deal of money by the time the divorce is settled. Most states use one of two methods to divide property and assets: Community property or equitable distribution.
Community property. All property of a married couple is owned by each equally in the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico. More specifically, community property means all earnings during the marriage and everything acquired with those earnings. Debts taken on by the couple during the marriage are also part of community property. If a divorce happens, community property is usually divided equally between the spouses.
Equitable distribution. In the remaining states, assets and income gathered during the marriage are divided fairly. That doesn’t necessarily mean equally, though. For example, the judge may consider separate property to reflect fairness in the settlement.
The Kardashian – West divorce is happening in California, a community property state. It won’t be just the house as physical property in contention; any asset, such as cash balances, stocks, bonds, insurance policies, security deposits, retirement accounts, and investment portfolios are also considered assets. Kanye, as of late 2020, was worth a little over $1 billion while Kim’s net worth was $780 million. It’s easy to see why this divorce might take quite a while to settle.
If they lived in a state with equitable distribution, Both Kim and Kanye would receive a percentage of the value of the property. Forbes Magazine reported recently that West’s 72% stake in Kim’s cosmetics company, KKW Beauty, was worth about $500 million. How would they then decide what percentage each kept of that asset?
Fortunately, for most people, the split of assets isn’t as complicated. Some of that work can be done privately, then documented and filed with the court using services like A People’s Choice.
The Effect of Divorce on the Children
Kim and Kanye have four children: daughters North, 7, and Chicago, 3, and sons Saint, 5, and Psalm, 1. The couple has been married for seven years, so the family is well-established, especially for the kids. Who will the children live with? Where will they live? Who supports them financially? Both Kim and Kanye have the means to support the family, but neither wants to separate the other from their children. So, how much does each pay in support?
A New Family Framework
These issues are common for any couple with children, whether the couple is mega-wealthy like the Kardashian – West family or not. During a divorce, it’s important to consider what’s best for the kids within the new framework of the family. Making those decisions is more emotional—and some would argue, more important—than those about money. There is no “one size fits all” template for how to divide time with each parent, how to set up a fair support agreement, and how to deal with family court.
Setting Aside Differences for Decision-Making
Many divorcing couples believe they each have to hire a high-priced attorney to handle their “side.” But the truth is, with kids, there is sometimes no “side.” For this reason alone, even the top attorneys will advise their clients to try to set aside the problems between them as a couple and make these decisions jointly. If a couple cannot do this, a judge will make those decisions, it will cost more, and the children will be subjected to even more trauma.
There IS Affordable, Professional Help Available
A People’s Choice is much more than just a legal document service. APC also helps keep the divorce moving forward and provides case management services. You will be able to keep your case in a cloud portal so everything is in one place. Best of all, with APC, all those decisions you are making as you maneuver the divorce will be handled at a fraction of the cost of that high-powered attorney that Kim and Kanye can afford.
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