If you were wondering why Married at First Sight stars Brandon Reid and Michael Watson are so hellbent on having their marriages to Taylor Dunklin and Meka Jones annulled as opposed to letting the process of a divorce play out, it might be because depending on where they live, a divorce for MAFS participants can take forever. Just ask Iris Caldwell.
The star of Season 9 of the Lifetime series did an Instagram Live Q&A recently with fans where she divulged that she and Keith Manley were still technically married. Granted, they aren’t together and haven’t been an item since Season 9’s Decision Day, North Carolina law doesn’t allow for quick splits. And in Maryland, where Reid and Watson recently filed for annulments, that state too doesn’t allow you to file for divorce before living separately for 12 months — unless you can prove “fault grounds, or that you were defrauded in some way, which both men are trying to claim.
According to Reality TV World, when asked if she and Manley were officially divorced, Caldwell replied, “We have to wait like a year until the separation and then I can officially file and all that stuff. But nope, [we’re not divorced]!”
That’s right, Divorce Day is just the beginning a of a long process. The couple wed in March 2019, which means either party will be able to go ahead and officially file in a few months since they have not been sharing a residence together for close to a year. Nevertheless, the waiting process has likely been a nuisance when you consider they were actually together for only eight weeks but have to stay married on paper for more than a whole year.
She noted that when you sign up for the show, prenuptial agreements are a part of the contract, so no one can go after each other’s assets in a divorce, but how they play out otherwise is completely up to the state.
“Every state has a different way of doing divorces and annulments, whatever. I mean, I’m not a lawyer, but… as far as I know, the show does not allow annulments,” she told fans during the Q&A. “It’s an official divorce, divorce, divorce.”
Despite the lengthy waiting period, and admitting recently that she was deeply hurt by Manley’s decision to end their marriage and she wished she would have done things differently, Caldwell is grateful for the growth she’s shown since she had her heart toyed with on TV.
“In March, it will be a year since we would’ve gotten married,” she said. “That’s huge to even think about that, so from that time to this time, I have grown tremendously in so many ways. I’m so blessed.”