We’re sure you balked at the headlines that read “Cardi Has To Pay Offset $50M Upon Divorce” as much as we did this week. The story grew legs after Cardi B announced she and her husband had split after one year of marriage and inquiring minds wondered who stood to gain — or lose — from the pair going their separate ways. But the story that the “Money” rapper will have to forfeit $50 million dollars should she dissolve her union with her philandering spouse isn’t as cut and dry as it seems.
For starters, that $50 million figure is based on an estimate that Cardi B’s brand could be worth more than $100 million over time and the assumption that New York’s Domestic Relations Law Section 236 B mandates that Offset would be entitled to half of that fortune. The truth is “Equitable Distribution means that the marital property will be divided between spouses in a way that is equitable, or fair,” entertainment lawyer Desiree Talley, Esq., explained to us via email. “In the event that Cardi B and Offset in fact divorce, she may not have to pay him half of her fortune. Assuming New York law applies, the court will follow the equitable distribution laws of the state. Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean half. It means fair.”
In Cardi’s Instagram video announcing her split, she stated it may take a while to get a divorce, and Talley gave us a brief synopsis of how that process could play out. “After a divorce proceeding is filed, the judge then has power to divide the property of Cardi B and Offset, if they can’t agree on how to divide the marital property amongst themselves. In this case, only money and property acquired or earned (despite whose name the property is in) after their September 20, 2017 wedding date will be considered.”
Unfortunately for Cardi, the bulk of her financial ventures came after she jumped the broom, including the April 5 release of Invasion of Privacy earlier this year. Her collaborations with Tom Ford, Steve Madden, and Fashion Nova also launched after she became Mrs. Kiari Kendrell Cephus. Cardi B said, despite their marital struggles, she and Offset are great business partners, but it remains to be seen whether that will continue to be the case once lawyers are involved. As Talley explained, “The types of property commonly divided at divorce are real property like the family home, personal property like jewelry, and intangible property like income, benefits, and debts.” And when it comes to putting a number on what’s “fair,” she said the court looks at a number of factors to determine how to divide property, including length of the marriage, each spouse’s age, health, income, potential earnings or future financial circumstances; property; and how each spouse contributed to the acquisition of marital property. Spousal and child support, Talley said, are typically considered separately. Cardi and Offset, whose net worth is estimated to be $9 million — just $1 million more than his estranged spouse — are parents to 5-month-old daughter Kulture Kiari Cephus.
Grounds for divorce will also be a factor in how quickly Cardi and Offset can go their separate ways. Of the seven grounds for divorce in New York, Talley believes two grounds apply to this situation:
- Irretrievable Breakdown: The relationship between the spouses has broken down irretrievably for at least six months, which means the relationship is broken beyond repair.
- Adultery: One spouse commits adultery.
However, Talley explained, adultery “is not a reason for divorce if the non-cheating spouse does any of the following: encourage the cheating spouse to commit adultery, forgive the cheating spouse by having sexual relations with them after you discover the adultery, or commit adultery yourself.” It’s public knowledge that Cardi stayed with her husband after his first viral cheating scandal in December of 2017. “Based on Cardi B and Offset’s public behavior following the divorce news this will be considered a Contested divorce,” Talley said.
While Offset has proclaimed his desire to stay married to Cardi and even spend the holidays with her and their daughter, what remains to be seen is whether it will be cheaper for her to keep him.
*Disclaimer: The information provided herein has been prepared by Desiree L. Talley, Esq. of Talley Law Group PLLC for informational purposes only and does not constitute advertising, a solicitation or legal advice. Talley Law Group PLLC expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this opinion.