- Kim Kardashian West asked California judges to make her legally single and restore her birth name this week.
- According to court documents, she says she requested the change after her ex West ignored her divorce filing.
- Kardashian West is likely asking to become “legally single” to expedite her divorce as they continue to figure out child custody and assets, a divorce lawyer told Insider.
Kim Kardashian West’s lawyers asked California judges to make her “legally single” amidst her divorce from Kanye West.
Kardashian West filed for divorce from rapper West in February 2021. They married in May 2014 and have four children together.
According to New York City family law attorney Nancy Chemtob, Kardashian West is the first-known high-profile person to use the phrase “legally single” in a divorce-related court request, a move she said she made after West ignored her initial divorce filing. In court documents, Kardashian West said she asked for the request as a way to “bifurcate,” or spilt her divorce into two parts — one hearing for legally defaulting to her pre-marital name and single status, and a second later hearing to settle assets and child custody.
Divorcees commonly request to bifurcate their marriage dissolution as a way to move forward with their single lives while dealing with more complex financial or parenting matters, according to Chemtob.
But Kardashian West’s lawyers created a spin on the process with “legally single” wording, since it appears West isn’t complying with the first divorce hearing, Chemtob said. In the documents, Kardashian West said that “no counseling or reconciliation effort” could change the “irreconcilable differences” she and West have.
As part of her request to become legally single, Kardashian West requested her name legally be changed back to Kimberly Noel Kardashian, court documents show.
“She’s basically saying, ‘[Kanye West] is never moving forward to get divorced, and so let me move on,'” Chemtob, who works with wealthy elites on their divorce agreements, told Insider.
If the court grants the reality star’s request to become “legally single,” it could become a more commonly used strategy for frustrated divorcess, Chemtob said.
Kim’s move could be the new norm for people going through difficult divorces
According to Chemtob, Kardashian West’s request likely signals her wish to split her divorce into two parts, which could help move the process along.
In court documents, Kardashian West said since she’s filed for divorce, West has ignored her requests to “terminate our marital status.” West recently asked Kardashian West to “run right back” to him during his performance at the “Free Larry Hoover” concert in Los Angeles.
The reality star’s request to be legally single, if granted, would allow her to shed the last name “West” even if her ex doesn’t comply with the divorce, Chemtob, who has practiced since 1997, said.
Chemtob said in her experience, most people comply with divorce filings. If a person continues to skirt divorce court dates and paperwork, the court would eventually default to a divorce, she said. Chemtob predicts that now that Kardashian West has popularized “legally single,” it could be used in other divorce court proceedings.
Los Angeles family court has yet to make a decision on Kardashian West’s request. Still, Chemtob thinks judges will likely agree if West continues to ignore Kardashian West’s divorce filing.