The Messiest Part Of Nick Cannon And Mariah Carey's Divorce - Exclusive

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon haven't had what one might call an "easy" divorce. Though the couple, who share twin children, separated years ago, updates about the ongoing negotiations and proceedings just kept coming. So Nicki Swift decided to check in with a divorce lawyer to get the real deets on why this split has been such a mess.

Divorce attorney Maria Barlow tells us that while their divorce was, indeed, messy, they "eventually got out of each other's way and decided they wanted to save some money and settle." She also explains that some of the language in the settlement that may have raised some eyebrows were not actually that unusual for their situation. For example, the fact that Nick's child support was going into a trust.

"Given the income disparity between Mariah and Nick, she likely does not need child support from him, but the law usually does not have space for children who do not 'need support' from one parent when one parent is a high earner, so often times a trust is set up for the money to go to the children for college or other need," Barlow explained.

So if it was that simple, what took so long? Keep scrolling to learn what Barlow suspects could be the reason it took so long for the couple to finally call it.

The couple get in their own way

"Oftentimes the thing that keeps an ugly divorce going is the children," divorce attorney Maria Barlow tells Nicki Swift. "Sometimes the parents don't stop to think how living without both parents will ultimately affect the children. They also fight more with emotion than common sense and thinking about would be best for the little ones."

But, in the case of Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, it's hard to know exactly what the issue behind the custody battle was — because of some sneaky legal maneuvering by Mariah.

"Nick and Mariah have been somewhat mum about what kept their divorce going and what the real issue about custody was. This was likely done by Mariah as she has a nondisclosure agreement in place so Nick cannot talk about specific detail of their divorce," Barlow notes. "This also was smart thinking on Mariah's part as she can craft how the story is told and make people pay for it in her new book."

That's not to say the two have been all bad, Barlow adds. "When either are attacked regarding the other's parenting etc, they come to the other's defense regarding that person as a parent," she said. "The other super great thing Nick and Mariah did was continue to spend some holidays together to co-parent their children. This is very rare and will likely be great for their children."

In conclusion, all's well that ends in a mutually beneficial divorce settlement.