KIM Kardashian and Kanye West are headed for trial in their messy divorce as the volatile rapper is still stalling with manipulative tactics.
The former couple were spotted at daughter North's basketball game over the weekend, with a source telling TMZ they drove to and from the event together and are communicating again.
But despite them appearing to work out their co-parenting issues, an insider exclusively told The Sun the pair are no closer to agreeing on custody in their divorce proceedings.
Kim, 41, who shares four children with the hitmaker – North, nine; Saint, six; Chicago, four; and Psalm, three – filed back in February 2021 and has come up against numerous issues.
A trial setting conference is currently scheduled for August 5, and papers obtained by The Sun show many conversations need to be had before this date.
Before any Family-Centered Case Resolution Conference is set, which could happen at an earlier date, both parties, or their counsel, must "meet and confer."
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According to filings, they must discuss; what each side is asking for, issues that parties can agree on, if an expert witness will be brought in, and what else is needed before the case is settled or goes to trial.
They will also need to exchange financial documents and information, the papers claim.
It's likely issues involved Kim's new boyfriend, former Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson, 28, will be brought up, after Kanye's many outbursts about their relationship.
In March, Kanye told Hollywood Unlocked: "I've asked my team to expedite the dissolution of my marriage to Kim so I can put my entire attention into our beautiful children."
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But behind the scenes, Kanye is now on his fifth lawyer since the divorce began, after well-known divorce attorney Samantha Spector filed to withdraw herself from the case last month.
Samantha, who has worked on a number of celebrity divorces, claimed there had been "an irreconcilable breakdown in the attorney-client relationship" in legal docs filed on May 26.
She was hired to replace lawyer Chris Melcher, who Kanye previously fired, while he's had issues with other attorneys working the case amid his public outbursts.
A source told The Sun: "Kanye knows that a successful divorce means it'll really be over for him and Kim. He's found it hard since their split and many of his delay tactics are motivated by his feeling that Kim moved on too fast with Pete."
Since his latest legal shake-up, Kanye has now made a surprising move by hiring an out-of-state attorney, Deborah Hong, who works for Pennsylvania law firm Stradley Ronon.
According to her business profile, she is not a divorce attorney and focuses her practice more on "corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, venture capital investments, joint ventures, and corporate restructurings."
But a closer look at her online resume may explain why entrepreneur Kanye, 45, decided to bring her on board – she is heavily linked to the fashion industry.
The Sun can reveal the entertainer's new attorney has previously served as lead counsel for Atmos, a Japanese-based brand, in its sale to Foot Locker for $360million late last year.
She also represented KicksUSA, a specialty retailer of urban footwear and apparel, in the sale of 64 stores to Snipes, a leading independent retailer of Nike-branded products.
Family law attorney Holly Davis, from Texas-based Kirker Davis LLP, who is not working on the case, gave The Sun her opinion having worked on other high-net-worth divorce cases.
She said: "I absolutely think that this case will go to trial if Kanye continues to attorney-shop his way through the divorce.
"One of the best ways to deal with a person who does not believe the rules apply to them is to have a trial or have a court determine the disputed issues.
"This is a last resort for a celebrity like Kim, who has tried to keep the messiness of her breakup out of the press, but it is the only way to deal with a spouse who will not negotiate from a position based in logic."
She went on: "When a spouse is only negotiating from an emotional position, it is very difficult to 'confer' or reach agreements, despite the best legal advice that could be given to that person.
"That is likely why so many of Kanye's attorneys are no longer representing him."
She alleged their expertise or legal advice is "likely not being followed" by the star as he is "not negotiating from a place of logic or rules, but instead he is negotiating from a hurt place in his soul, in addition to anger about being broken up with in the first place."
"Kanye hiring an attorney who is in the fashion world is not a surprise to me as a divorce attorney," she added.
"If he has run through several high-end and extremely competent divorce attorneys, he must not like the advice that he is getting.
"It is unsurprising that he would hire a person who may be impressed with his status in the fashion world, and who may be impressed with his business acumen — I believe that the only person driving the strategy on the Kanye West legal team is Kanye West.
"I have deduced this based on the fact that his behavior is 100 per cent against the advice that any attorney would offer him in a contested custody dispute on any level.
"When a person takes their legal strategy and their case into their own hands without the requisite expertise, we can expect negotiations to fall through."
She concluded: "And while it is highly unlikely that this trial will ever see the light of day in the public, Kim may be at her legal wit's end with Kanye's antics and delay tactics, which would likely push her to finalize the remaining disputed matters through a trial."
During an episode of Hulu series The Kardashians, which was recorded late last year, Kim revealed Kanye was still refusing to sign divorce papers at the time.
Kim is still being represented by popular divorce attorney, Laura Wasser, who has worked with a number of celebrities.
The Sun has reached out to Kanye's new counsel for comment.
In February, Kim also hit back at her ex, following numerous outbursts from him about custody of their children and her relationship with Pete.
"Kanye's constant attacks on me in interviews and on social media is actually more hurtful than any TikTok North might create," she wrote online, after the musician blasted her parenting skills.
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"As the parent who is the main provider and caregiver for our children, I am doing my best to protect our daughter while also allowing her to express her creativity in the medium that she wishes with adult supervision – because it brings her so much happiness," she added.
"Divorce is difficult enough on our children and Kanye's obsession with trying to control and manipulate our situation so negatively and publicly is only causing further pain for all."
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