It is well publicized that Kris Humphries gave Kim Kardashian a 20.5 karat, estimated $2 million engagement ring and that the couple split after just a few short months of marriage. Kim has been publicly ridiculed regarding her insistence on keeping the ring. However, recently disclosed details regarding an alleged prenuptial agreement between Kim Kardashian and NBA star Kris Humphries has revealed that Kim insisted on including a clause in the prenup that provided that should the couple ever spilt up, Kim would be allowed to keep the ring as long as she reimbursed Kris for the value of the ring. Now apparently she is on the hook for $2 million if she wants to keep the rock.
What Kim may not have known is that if the couple hadn’t entered into a prenuptial agreement, the ring would have become her separate property at the moment she and Kris said “I do.” Now, instead of keeping the ring scot free, she has to pony up $2 million if she wants to keep it. California law treats an engagement ring as a conditional gift–the condition being that the marriage actually takes place. Once this condition is met, the ring becomes the property of the giftee (generally the bride). At the very moment of matrimony, and the second the couple becomes married, everything that either one acquires, with limited exception, is shared as community property. So it can be said that in the vast majority of cases, the last piece of property that an unmarried woman acquires as separate property is her engagement ring–it magically becomes her separate property as soon as she says “I do.”
So what if the couple hadn’t had a prenup and Kim hadn’t insisted on paying Kris back for the ring? What remedy does Kris have to get back that wasted $2 million? Well, it depends on whether or not what the tabloids say is true. Recently, the press has been all over the idea that the Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries wedding was a scam to make money. Some tabloids have guessed that both Kim and Kris were in on fraud as a money making publicity stunt. Kim and her family have steadily maintained that Kim was in love and that the feelings and the marriage for the matter were real. Kris has come out recently and noted that the marriage was real to him, but that he was skeptical as to Kim’s true intentions. If Kris Humphries were able to prove that Kim duped him into marrying her as a publicity stunt and that she never intended that the marriage last, he may have a strong case in support of obtaining a nullity of the marriage.
California Family Code Section 2210 provides several avenues by which a California marriage could be legally determined to be void. These include the incompetence of one or both parties to enter into the marriage, marriage procured by force or duress and a few others. Kris Humphries may want to look into Family Code Section 2210(d) which provides that a marriage could be deemed void if the consent of either party was obtained by fraud.
Why does this matter? It matters because if the marriage is nullified, it’s as if it never happened in the eyes of the law. If the marriage never happened in the eyes of the law then the condition that I described above was never satisfied. If the condition of marriage was never satisfied, then the ring never became Kim’s separate property and the ring must be returned to Kris.
As you can see, California family law has applications that reach past the marital relationship and the division of property into the premarital relationship and the circumstances surrounding how the marriage occured in the first place.
The divorce and family lawyers at Griffith & Young, have experience in all areas of family law practice. Their knowledge and application of this constantly evolving area of law enables the law firm to rival the old school mindset and obtain victories in and out of the courtroom on a regular basis. If you want to hire an aggressive, competent, and skillful divorce lawyer, call Griffith & Young today (858) 345-1720.