Kelly Clarkson, 39, has to pay her ex Brandon Blackstock, 44, a hefty monthly amount for both child and spousal support as the two finalize their tough divorce. According to legal documents, the American Idol alum has been ordered to pay him $200K a month combined — breaking down to $150K in spousal support and an additional $45,601 in child support for kids daughter River Rose, 7, and son Remington Alexander, 5, as well as $1.25 million to cover Brandon’s divorce related legal fees. While this seems like a sky high number, a lawyer says that $200K a month could very well be a “win” for Kelly.
“This could seemingly be a ‘win’ for Kelly. Blackstock originally filed a request for spousal support of $301,000 per month as well as his original demand of $135,000 in child support,” family law attorney Sabrina Shaheen Cronin, and managing partner of The Cronin Law Firm, explains to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. Given that Brandon’s combined requested amount was originally $435K, her potential monthly payment is 50% lower than it could have been.
As Sabrina explains, the amount deduced is based on both parents‘ incomes, along with their taxes, and percentage of time each parent has with their kids. Beyond the amount being brought down to $200K, other factors Kelly has to consider is potential future incomes — especially if she makes more than she is now, and his financial situation changes. Notably, Kelly and the talent manager — who is the stepson of Reba McEntire — married in 2013. They went on to welcome daughter River in 2014, and son Remi in 2016.
Although Kelly has been ordered to pay the amount, it’s important to note she can appeal the ruling if she wishes. “While Kelly can appeal the ruling, she may not want to. Considering her income and the fact that Blackstock’s income may decrease (it has been reported that he will move to Montana and give up his career in talent management) while hers increases and the fact that she was ordered to pay his attorneys’ fees, she most likely will simply cut her losses and move on,” Sabrina says to HL.
Specifically, she says that Kelly will “most likely not prevail” if she tries to fight the $45K figure on child support. “Child support guidelines are pretty rigid, and even though Kelly has the children the majority of time, Blackstock still has them about 15% of the time, and therefore is entitled to monies to help him provide for the parties’ children while in his care and custody,” she explains.
Spousal support is based on 40% of her net monthly income per guidelines, reduced by one-half of Blackstock’s net monthly income. “Keep in mind, however, that everything is negotiable and oftentimes, support payments can be more or less than what a court would order,” Sabrina also says.” Generally, though, for short-term marriages (under ten years), permanent alimony lasts no longer than half the length of the marriage, with “marriage” defined as the time between the date of marriage and the date of separation. For these reasons alone, she may prevail.”