Malaak Compton-Rock wants to keep the marital standard of living even after her divorce from Chris Rock
Chris Rock married his now estranged wife Malaak in 1996. The couple signed a prenup, but apparently it contained a so-called sunset clause that resulted in the prenup expiring on their 18th wedding anniversary in November last year.
The couple had two daughters during their marriage; both born only after the couple had remained childless in their first five years of marriage.
With their daughters’ arrival, Malaak gave up her own career and dedicated her time to bringing up her daughters as well as engaging in charitable ventures. If you listen to Chris Rock these days, it doesn’t seem as if he wanted her to give up her career, however, and that it was entirely her choice.
Chris was already successful and not much changed in that regard over the next decade. Malaak was able to raise their daughters comfortably and dedicate herself to charity work in her free time.
But things weren’t always rosy in their marriage and there was at least rumoured trouble in paradise every now and then. The couple stuck it out and remained married. They did briefly split up in 1998, but not for long.
Chris has also twice had to face allegations of having fathered children outside of his marriage, but in both cases DNA tests proved that he was not the father.
In December 2014 Chris filed for divorce. Later it emerged that he and Malaak had been separated for up to two years, though it’s not entirely clear how true that is.
Trouble was, Chris was rumoured to be dating Rosario Dawson, his co-star on Top 5 and allegedly filed for divorce in order to be free to be with Rosario. There’s not much substance to the rumour, however. No matter how well the co-stars may have gotten along, there’s no evidence that they dated before or after Chris filed for divorce.
The only reason that appeared credible for the marriage to end was that Chris was no longer fulfilled in it.
That happens, especially after a long marriage and if his wife was no longer a very interesting woman. But Chris did say in the past that the divorce made him very sad, which means it was not a step taken lightly.
If they were indeed separated prior to Chris filling for divorce, the question is why he waited until after the prenup expired. Apparently in his filling he did highlight that the couple had a prenup, but later both he and his wife acknowledged that it had expired and Chris proceeded to ask that the marital estate should be split equally.
Malaak’s lawyers want him to pay enough to his estranged wife that she will be able to maintain her marital standard of living. Chris apparently pointed out in his own filling that she was able to work and thereby support herself and that she always has been able to work and have her own income, precluding a reliance on him alone.
When a relationship ends one partner should not have to pay for the living standards of another. The partnership no longer exists. Child support is a different matter entirely and to support the mother of his children to an extent that she can look after them in a manner that is not detrimental to anyone should also go without saying. But does an ex-partner truly have any right to continue living the same lifestyle they had when they were still married?
Not really. There’s no known evidence that Chris wanted her to be a stay-at-home mother or that she gave up her career at his request. It was her decision by all accounts. It also doesn’t seem that Malaak suffered undue hardships in her marriage, emotional, physical or financial. If Chris had cheated on her, the story might be different. Betraying your partner certainly warrants some compensation.
For now the ex-couple has agreed on joint custody for their daughters and Chris is no doubt paying a substantial amount in child support for his girls. But that his wife truly deserves a big chunk of his money remains to be seen.