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Watch Out Kardashian: Humphries Wants an Annulment

Last month, we discussed how reality television star Kim Kardashian had filed for divorce from her husband, professional basketball player Kris Humphries, just seventy-two days after their nuptials.  Now, Humphries has filed for legal separation and annulment, and asking a California family court judge to invalidate the couple’s prenuptial agreement.
Kris HumphriesImage by Keith Allison via Flickr

According to documents filed on December 1 in Los Angeles Superior Court, Humphries filed for both a legal separation from Kardashian and a nullification of their entire union.  What it really means is that Humphries wants an annulment, but if he is unable to get one, he wants a legal separation.  According to the filed documents, Humphries requested an annulment on the grounds of fraud, essentially alleging that Kardashian tricked him into marrying her for the television wedding and subsequent payday.  It has been reported that Humphries is seeking annulment instead of divorce for religious reasons.  Nevertheless, his attempt to invalidate the prenuptial agreement makes it more likely that his finances, not his religion, may be behind this move.

Annulments are only granted in a handful of rare situations because they completely invalidate the marriage altogether.  Unlike a divorce action which is maintained to terminate a valid marriage on grounds arising after the marriage, a nullity proceeding is maintained on the theory that, for reasons existing at the time of the marriage, no valid marriage ever occurred.  In an annulment, the court determines that a marriage or domestic partnership is not legally valid because: 
  • of force, fraud, or physical or mental incapacity; 
  • one of the spouses was legally too young to marry or enter a domestic partnership; or 
  • one of the spouses was already married or in a domestic partnership.
More information about the grounds for nullity, as well as time limits for filing for an annulment, are available from the California Family Code, sections 2210 et seq.
Additionally, Humphries is attempting to have the couple’s prenuptial agreement invalidated.  According to reports, he wants the prenup voided in order to avoid being bound by the document’s confidentiality clause so he can speak publicly about the marriage and the divorce.  It is Humphries’ hope that if the marriage is invalidated, then the prenup will no longer control what happens in the wake of the couple’s split.

Legal updates brought to you by Orange County attorneys at Don Ho, LLP.

All factual information provided by Los Angeles Times
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