Cash-strapped Nick Lachey is demanding $8 million from Jessica Simpson in exchange for ending their marriage quickly. But Jessica is not turning over the cash so quickly and their divorce is turning into a war, The ENQUIRER has learned exclusively.

Nick fears he’s facing financial ruin — unless Jessica bails him out with a quickie divorce settlement!

Insiders say he’s so desperate for dough, he’s willing to take a 40/60 split of the couple’s assets — instead of California’s customary 50/50 deal — if Jessica signs off soon on their three-year marriage.

But he could have a long wait. Jessica’s in no hurry to rush the divorce through. And she’s facing cash problems of her own — multimillion-dollar lawsuits that could take a big bite out of the fortune she’s earned.

“Nick is so worried that he’s asked his lawyer to set up an emergency meeting with Jessica’s attorney for some time this month to resolve this quickly” revealed an insider.

“Jessica’s stalling because she knows that the lawsuits filed against her could prove to be a problem.”

Sources say if Nick doesn’t strike the settlement deal soon he may lose both his $5 million Bel Air mansion, plus the $3.5 million condo he’s now building in Vegas.

“The divorce war is now on and reality has set in for Nick — he’s sweating bullets over money,” said a friend of Jessica’s.

“Jessica doesn’t want to leave Nick high and dry, but she’s in no hurry to rush the proceedings. This is about business, not love. She’s been the breadwinner in the relationship and feels Nick will be well cared for in the divorce settlement, no matter what. Jessica isn’t concerned that Nick’s in a cash crunch, or if the divorce takes all year.”

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