TMZ broke the story ... Vanessa -- through her lawyer, disso-queen Laura Wasser -- filed to end her marriage in December, 2011. Several months later ... Kobe -- in an attempt to win her back -- deeded over his interest in their 3 Newport Beach mansions.
Since she filed, Vanessa and Kobe were on-again, off-again like high school students.
But in the last month ... they got very tight. A turning point seemed to be the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy relief concert at Madison Square Garden in NYC, when the two left arm-in-arm. They spent New Year's Eve together, were spotted at lunch and have pretty much been inseparable.
There have been reports that Kobe is getting back with Vanessa because it's cheaper to keep her ... but that's just not true. Fact is ... we've checked property records and Vanessa still owns 2 of the Newport Beach mansions -- she just sold the third for $3.2 mil. We don't know for sure, but it seems like Kobe may have signed a post-nup, giving Vanessa more financial leverage in the relationship.
So now, Kobe, Vanessa and the 2 kids are one big happy family again. Congrats.