Lamar Odom and Khloé Kardashian (Getty Images)
The revelation Wednesday that, while Khloé Kardashian and Lamar Odom both signed a divorce agreement in July, the case has still not been finalized could have big implications for Odom’s medical care moving forward. Odom was rushed to a hospital Tuesday after he was found unconscious in Nevada and is reportedly in serious condition after possibly suffering a stroke.
During their marriage, Kardashian was more than likely Odom’s health care proxy and would have been in charge of any medical decisions, if Odom was not fit to make them for himself. The question is whether Kardashian remains the health care proxy for Odom as he lies in a Las Vegas hospital unconscious.
“There are some people who stay current on their estate planning and there are some people who don’t. The most common health care proxy, even for an athlete, would be the wife,” divorce attorney Jonathan Wolfe tells Yahoo. “Certainly one of the things that we advise our clients at the start of any case is to change all of those documents, so some people are good about doing it, some people are not.”
If, indeed, Kardashian remains Odom’s health care proxy, she would be the one in charge of making any decisions about his care so long as he remains unconscious.
“It also depends on what the terms of the documents are,“ Wolfe says. “It depends on how the health care proxy was drafted; some health care proxies say that they terminate upon the filing of a complaint for divorce, some don’t.”
California law does not require that both parties be present to be granted a divorce, so if Kardashian is Odom’s health care proxy, she could possibly get the divorce finalized so that Odom’s next of kin is in charge of his medical care.
“I am confident that a court would entertain [the case] on an emergent basis,” Wolfe, who is not involved in Kardashian and Odom’s divorce, but does practice family law in New York and New Jersey, said. “If they already have an agreement signed, it’s in all likelihood going to be enforceable.”
Kardashian and Odom did have a prenuptial agreement. “Everybody needs a prenup,” Khloé said in 2011, while the two were still married. “I don’t care if you make five dollars or $5 million dollars, you’re protecting yourself in this day in age. People are crazy, you never know.” According to Radar Online, the prenup states that Khloé remains the beneficiary on a $10 million life insurance policy in Odom’s name even after their divorce is finalized.