Kim Kardashian, Kris Humphries

Seth Browarnik/

Divorce may not be in Kris Humphries' vocabulary. But annulment just might be.

Humphries' rep confirms to E! News that the basketballer ex-hubby of Kim Kardashian plans to answer Kim's divorce filing not with a similar response or by refusing to sign her papers, but by filing a new batch of documents seeking instead a legal separation from his wife of just 72 days.

So what's the difference?

It's a big one, actually. While a divorce would obviously dissolve the marriage, a legal separation would pave the way to totally delete it, and, if granted, could get their union annulled. Which would mean that, in the eyes of the state, Kris would still be a never-married bachelor, and Kim would have just one divorce under her designer belt.

Still, the filing plan is something of an about-face from earlier this month. Shortly after Kim visited Kris in Minnesota, rumors swirled that he was refusing to sign Kim's divorce papers.

A source close to the athlete denied that report to E! News, saying he had every intention of doing so. Then, he lawyered up. My, how things change.

The papers are expected to be filed within the next day.

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