Photo of Karen Lavin

Ending a marriage can be a long and lengthy process. Just ask Kim Kardashian. She has been trying to divorce her estranged basketball player husband, Kris Humphries, since 2011. This is despite the fact that she called it quits after only 72 days of matrimony. No matter how long or short of a duration one is happily married, the same legal issues tend to arise once the breakup begins.

For starters, in Illinois, a married couple who wishes to divorce for, say, irretrievable breakdown has to go through a separation period of two years. Waiting periods aside, there are still the issues of property division, alimony and, in many cases, child custody.

One way to make a divorce go smoother and faster is to prepare for the future possibility before getting married in the first place. Prenuptial agreements can help settle arguments before they start, and they allow a couple to avoid having to negotiate the terms of their breakup when emotional stress is at its highest.

For same sex couples, life partnership agreements can serve much the same purpose as prenuptial agreements. While same sex partners may not presently be able to benefit from marriage laws, life partnership agreements can help avoid the type of long, drawn-out civil suit that may arise out of non-family property disputes. Even in worst-case scenarios, a life partnership agreement may be able to frame a court battle over property to help resolve it more quickly and amicably.

It is important to remember, though, that a prenuptial agreement or life partnership agreement will not magically solve every problem. Kardashian and Humphries, for example, did sign a prenuptial agreement, though it is unclear what provisions that agreement actually contained. Still, such agreements do tend to ease what is often an inevitably difficult situation. A family law attorney can also help with divorce issues like child support, custody and asset division. A person should not face a divorce without strong representation.

Source:, “Kim Kardashian: ‘I Would Love To Be Divorced!’,” Jan. 17, 2013