Stevie Wonder is filing for divorce after 11 years of marriage to Kai Millard Morris, according to court papers filed July 26. Reuters reports:
The couple married in 2001 but they separated in 2009 and Wonder cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for ending their marriage. That provides a general catch-all for situations where the marriage just didn’t work out.
Wonder has requested joint custody of the couple’s two children but he agreed to pay child and spousal support to Morris. That’s a start but the division of assets will likely require more paperwork.
The couple lives in California and presumably filed for divorce in the state so they will have to deal with California’s community property law.
In a divorce, community property dictates that any assets earned during the marriage are split 50-50.
The couple can negotiate a different arrangement if both parties agree. But in the absence of mutual agreement, the court will require a 50-50 split.
Community property only applies to funds earned while the couple was living together with the intent to remain married. Since Wonder and Morris separated in 2009, any assets they received since then could be up for grabs. A court will look at whether the couple ever intended to get back together after their separation.
If the answer is no, Wonder and Morris may get to keep any earnings they made in the last three years rather than having to split them equally.
It seems simple in theory but in reality division of assets in a divorce can get messy very quickly. If you’re looking for more information, download FindLaw’s free divorce property division mini guide.
There is also the possibility of a prenuptial agreement that could help determine the division of assets. But the couple will still have to determine the terms of any joint custody arrangement since child support and custody cannot be part of a prenup.
This is Stevie Wonder’s second divorce. He was previously married to Syreeta Wright from 1970 to 1972.