What's left of Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson's marriage? Nothing, really.
The former camera-ready couple have become single people once more in the eyes of the law after appointing a retired judge to sign off on their split, according to court documents obtained Friday by E! News.
In papers signed by both Simpson and Lachey, the ex-Newlyweds stars asked that retired Judge Dana Senit Henry be appointed "for the sole purpose of conducting the hearing, if any, with respect to the bifurcated issue of the termination of marital status."
By bifurcating their divorce, i.e. separating the actual dissolution of marriage from all the financial details and such, Lachey and Simpson can wait to sort out messy details such as who gets what until after they are officially no longer man and wife.
According to California law, a divorce decree can be entered six months after the divorce petition is filed. Simpson officially filed for divorce on Dec. 16, 2005, just over six months ago, meaning that the couple's decree was official as soon as the judge signed off on it.
Speedy divorce or no, Simpson and Lachey still have a long way to go before they can wash their hands of each other.
The couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement before their marriage, meaning that any income either party earned before their separation is considered community property and would be divided down the middle.
During their three-year marriage, Simpson earned tens of millions of dollars, while Lachey earned...less. Hence, a split of community funds would be advantageous to him, less so for her.
Simpson requested in her divorce petition that Lachey not be awarded spousal support. Though Lachey reserved the right to seek support in his own filing, he denied that he would ask for alimony in a published interview.
In the meantime, both halves of the couple have been focusing on their professional lives. Lachey has been promoting his post-breakup album, What's Left of Me, while Simpson recently shot the star-studded video for her single, "Public Affair," featuring appearances by Eva Longoria, Ryan Seacrest and Christina Applegate, among others.
Lachey and Simpson have also both been linked with new romantic interests. Lachey has been rumored to be stepping out with MTV VJ Vanessa Minnillo and stylist Kim Kardashian alternately, while Simpson has been most recently tied to Jared Leto.