Are You Really Divorced? Lamar Odom’s Life Placed in Khloe Kardashian’s Hands
By Jason Castle
Lamar Odom, an NBA basketball star was recently discovered in a Nevada brothel unconscious and in critical condition. He was rushed to the hospital whereby a number of drugs were discovered in his system and he was being held in ICU. Lamar was married to Khloe Kardashian, but thought he was divorced in July, which was not accurate and why it mattered.
For background purposes, Khloe filed for divorce in December 2013. In July 2015, the parties (Lamar and Khloe) signed their divorce papers and filed them with the Court. However, a divorce is not final until the court signs and files the dissolution action with the Clerk’s office. In Arizona, a Judgment (Arizona’s term for a divorce decree) is not final until signed by the court and filed with the Clerk’s office. Similarly, even though the parties had signed their Decree, they were not divorced.
Why does this matter? When Lamar was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, he was unable to make medical decisions. Since he was not divorced, his wife, Khloe had to make those decisions for him. In hindsight, this turned out to be positive for Lamar, but is that what Lamar wanted? Did he want Khloe making critical lifesaving decisions on his behalf?
Divorce is often a messy affair and spouses often do not have the other spouse’s best interest at heart. To avoid this issue, a person getting divorced should obtain a medical power of attorney giving someone they trust the power to make lifesaving decisions on their behalf in the event of an emergency.
About the author: Jason B. Castle is a Partner at the Phoenix law firm of Jaburg Wilk. He is the President of the Arizona Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, member of the State Bar of Arizona, and a member of the Maricopa County Bar Association, where he chaired the Family Law Section and Legislative Committee. He has expertise in child custody and Decision Making Authority. More recently he was named a Southwest Super Lawyer Rising Star.