The announcement of the divorce between reality television star Kim Kardashian and pro-basketball player Kris Humphries has been headline fodder, but it is not a complete shock to marriage and financial experts. The marriage lasted 72 days before Kardashian called it quits.
Some celebrities were married fewer days than Kardashian, but perhaps no marriage and divorce in recent times have had so much publicity. The engagement and $10 million wedding of Kardashian and Humphries fed a steady stream of news outlets, reality shows and fans. More than 4 million viewers tuned in to see the couple's extravagant ceremony televised in a two-part series on E! The last installment of the television special aired just days before the official word that the marriage was over. As the announcement smoke clears, divorce and financial experts are analyzing what went wrong and what will happen next.
One divorce coach and author says the couple was caught up in the flurry of wedding plans and failed to examine whether the relationship would extend into the long-term. The "collaborative divorce" guide author said the 31-year-old businesswoman and her 26-year-old athletic fiancée may not have taken the time to find out if they were truly compatible before tying the knot.
The couple certainly benefited financially from their brief union, however. Advertisers, marriage vendors, television networks and fans contributed an undisclosed amount to the bank accounts of the pair. Observers say the "brand" associated with the Kardashian businesses and reality shows is not expected to suffer a great deal from the recent news.
Celebrity divorce attorneys are speculating over the divorce settlement. Most agree that the marriage was not long enough, prenuptial agreement or not, to give either partner much of a financial jolt. One lawyer felt that neither Kardashian nor Humphries would have assets to divide other than recent joint acquisitions.
Despite the short union, some of the jointly held assets might be contestable. The money the couple allegedly reaped from selling the rights to the wedding and vendor gifts could become points of contention if the issues are not addressed in a prenuptial agreement. It will be interesting to see how the divorce is settled.
Source: USA Today, "Kim Kardashian's divorce won't tarnish her brand," Maria Puente, Nov. 1, 2011