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What's better than a divorce?

An annulment.

Kris Humphries plans to respond to Kim Kardashian's Oct. 31 divorce filing with a counterstrike of his own. A rep for the NBA star, 26, confirms to Us Weekly that Humphries will seek a legal separation from Kardashian, 31 -- ultimately leading, he hopes, to an annulment of their 72-day union.

If Humphries gets his way, the couple will avoid divorce proceedings altogether.

Kardashian and Humphries tied the knot Aug. 20 in Montecito, Calif.; an ironclad prenuptial agreement guarantees that the reality starlet will hold onto all moneys earned during their marriage.

Humphries, whose prospects have opened once again now that the NBA lockout has ended, recently signed an endorsement deal with Sector watches worth $150,000.

Pals told Us that Humphries freeloaded off of his wife and could be downright cruel during their short-lived union."He belittled her in front of people," one insider said. "He'd call her stupid. It was truly sickening."

"He tried to control Kim by bringing her down...He would say truly terrible things. One time, he said she had no talent and her fame wouldn't last."

Worst of all? Humphries even called the star "fat ass."