"She's happy to have a house that's hers," someone close to the pop star tells PEOPLE. "This is the first time she's making her own decisions." Among them: keeping the divorce proceedings as quiet as possible by requesting the case be assigned to a private judge and not aired in open court.
Some details are known, however. Simpson asked that she not pay alimony to her soon-to-be ex-husband, Nick Lachey – though it’s not clear that Lachey ever wanted it.
Says a source close to him: "There is no squabble, and we are hoping for a quick and private procedure." Which may be why Simpson did not oppose a judge helping settle issues such as distribution of property, according to the divorce papers.
As for the split, Lachey "knew it was coming," says the source. "He was hoping for the best, but as time went by he was prepared for what became inevitable."
Lachey is also doing a little image boosting: Joined by Wilmer Valderrama and USC quarterback Matt Leinart, Lachey recently visited the pediatrics ward at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, handing out presents. Says the source : "He loves visiting these kids."