Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

For the last year, Kim Kardashian West and Kanye (“Ye”) West, have been navigating their separation and divorce. Whilst their separation is being displayed on a public platform, it remains that due process must be followed when dividing their assets, arranging custody agreements, and resolving their marital status.

Facts

Kim and Ye were married for seven years and had four children together during the relationship.  In early 2021, Kim filed for divorce. Initially, it appeared that the parties’ separation was amicable and a solution of co-parenting was possible. However, as displayed in the media over recent months, various factors have caused tension, making the separation more complex moving forward.

This article focuses on the parallels that we can draw from Kim and Ye’s separation, which can assist our clients in Perth to better understand the separation process.

Divorce Process

Unlike the USA, Australia treats the divorce itself separately to the division of assets and arranging child custody. This means, if you apply to the court for an alteration of property interests, orders seeking parental responsibility or time with the child(ren), married couples do not automatically have your divorce dealt with at the same time.

Parties in Western Australia need to keep in mind, however, that if they apply for divorce prior to making their application with the Family Court in relation to property or children, they have just one year to make an application to the Court from the date of their divorce order. This time limitation is important when deciding whether to file for divorce if no application has been previously made with the Court.

Child-Related Proceedings

Ye has made various public comments noting his disagreement with Kim’s parenting practices, including allowing their eldest daughter on the social media platform TikTok. The notion of misaligned parenting is common in many parties who have separated.

When an application is made to the court in relation to children’s matters, in most cases, the court will list a Child Assessment Conference, which the parties attend. At the Conference, a Family Consultant will express their views to the parties and provide recommendations in relation to specific issues.

If appropriate, these issues can also be discussed, and hopefully resolved if the parties attend private mediation. The parties can elect a suitable mediator to assist in coming to an agreement in respect to the children. 

Mental Health

It is public knowledge that Ye’s mental health has suffered in recent years, and he has admitted that he suffers from bipolar disorder.

Mental health is a prevalent topic that the Court deals with daily. Family court proceedings can be a stressful and emotional experience for one or both parties, therefore it is no surprise that mental health is at the core of family law and must be considered by lawyers and the court.

It is wise for parties to seek professional help from a mental health expert, including a psychologist or counsellor to help navigate them through dealing with their family court proceedings on an emotional level.

Throughout their proceedings, Ye has intentionally leaked private text messages with Kim to the public. Further, Kim’s new partner has received inadvertent threats from Ye in respect to physical violence. If it appears that another parties’ mental health poses a risk to a party or their children, that party can make an application to the Magistrates Court of Western Australia for a Family Violence Restraining Order. At Leach Legal, we have lawyers who specialise in this area and are here to assist you in this process.

Summary

If we take away the glitz and glamour of Kim and Ye’s life, what we are seeing unfold is what most couples experience following the breakdown of their relationship. At the crux of their relationship, their children’s wellbeing will be the primary aspect when resolving their dispute.

At Leach Legal, our lawyers are experienced in providing advice in the following situations:

  1. The parties parenting practices not aligning;
  2. One or both of the parties suffering from a mental health illness; and/or
  3. The child(ren) of the relationship suffering from a mental health illness.

Given the importance of these issues, it is crucial that parties seek advice from lawyers who have a high level of understanding and knowledge of them.

The lawyers at Leach Legal provide their advice and guidance at the highest standard. They are here to assist you to navigate your family law matter and will work with you to discuss your various options to resolving the matter. Our lawyers are also prepared to act in more serious circumstances always helping you understand the court’s processes along the way.

If this has prompted questions around your personal situation, we encourage you to reach out to us for a confidential discussion.