Martin Lawrence Seeks Divorce, Joint Custody of Kids

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on May 01, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

There may soon be a bit more room in "Big Momma's House," as actor Martin Lawrence has filed for divorce, gossip website TMZ reports. His next act will likely involve lawyers, and discussions about child custody.

But don't expect too much drama as Lawrence, 47, and his soon-to-be ex-wife Shamicka proceed with their split after less than two years of marriage.

"Out of love and respect for one another, we will continue to remain friends and raise our two beautiful daughters together," a joint statement by the couple said, according to TMZ.

Martin and Shamicka Lawrence were actually a couple for 15 years before they married in 2010, according to People magazine. They have two daughters, 9 and 11.

Martin Lawrence's divorce papers show he's seeking joint legal custody of their children. If approved, both he and Shamicka would participate equally in making decisions about their children's upbringing and welfare.

Lawrence is also seeking joint physical custody, meaning the children would split their time evenly between Martin Lawrence and Shamicka.

Such an agreement over child custody could be hammered out by the parties' lawyers, or at a joint meeting between the parties and their lawyers. A custody agreement may also discuss which parent will have the children on significant holidays, and perhaps what happens when Martin Lawrence goes on extended film shoots.

Though Martin and Shamicka Lawrence reportedly have a prenuptial agreement, such an agreement typically cannot discuss child custody. Instead, prenups usually focus on personal and marital property, and how such property will be split upon divorce.

Without a prenup, property division depends on whether you live in a community property state like California, where each spouse is entitled to 50% of all property acquired between their date of marriage and their date of separation. Martin and Shamicka Lawrence legally separated on April 24, TMZ reports -- one day before Martin officially filed for divorce.

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