Kelly Clarkson only has to pay $200K-a-month to her ex-husband temporarily

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Last week, we learned that Kelly Clarkson has to pay her ex/estranged husband $200K a month in spousal and child support. This is almost half of what he originally asked for but it still seems like way too much, especially given that Brandon Blackstock and his father allegedly defrauded her, mismanaged her and cost her millions of dollars. Not to mention the fact that Kelly was the one awarded primary physical custody of their kids too! Now we’re learning, via a People Magazine exclusive, that this new financial arrangement is temporary. This is apparently just what Kelly has to pay Blackstock until their divorce is completely finalized:

Kelly Clarkson’s requirement to pay her ex-husband Brandon Blackstock nearly $200,000 per month in spousal and child support is not set in stone. The order handed down by a Los Angeles judge on Tuesday that sees the star, 39, giving Blackstock, 44, $150,000 per month in spousal support and $45,601 per month in child support “is strictly temporary support until a final settlement is worked out,” a source tells PEOPLE.

Through the arrangement, Blackstock, a music manager, will receive $195,601 in total from Clarkson each month, or roughly $2.4 million per year. The order also requires the singer to pay $1.25 million towards her estranged husband’s attorney fees and costs for their ongoing divorce.

A source previously told PEOPLE that Blackstock had been aiming for more than double the amount in support, requesting that Clarkson pay him $436,000 per month ($301,000 in spousal support and $135,000 in child support).

Clarkson is being represented by celebrity attorney Laura Wasser, who recently launched It’s Over Easy. The service helps streamline the divorce process for individuals who might not be able to obtain her services otherwise.

[From People]

I completely blanked on the fact that Laura Wasser is her lawyer. This is not one of the best examples of Wasser’s work, although to be fair, it seems like Wasser has been phoning it in for her clients for some time. Wasser also represented Johnny Depp in his divorce (ugh) and her work was so sh-tty in Angelina Jolie’s divorce case, Jolie fired her and went with out-of-town legal representation because she was so wary of Wasser’s connections to Pitt’s lawyers and TMZ. My point? I wonder if Kelly Clarkson is being screwed over by her ex-husband AND her own lawyer. Anyway, we’ll see what the final divorce settlement is. And I hope Kelly’s other lawyers – the ones suing the Blackstocks as managers – are a lot better at their jobs.

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42 Responses to “Kelly Clarkson only has to pay $200K-a-month to her ex-husband temporarily”

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  1. Klu says:

    This is madness. I understand child support (except why so high? Kelly has primary custody) but I don’t think any ex spouse should have to pay spousal support anything. If the marriage is over, get a j-o-b and support yourself if you don’t have one.

    It makes me wonder why Brandon wants so much? I feel so bad for Kelly.

    • Enis says:

      Child support is calculated on a formula basis that takes into account both time spent with each parent AND the income of each parent in their state. It’s pretty cut and dry and judges rarely divert from that calculation unless a child has exceptional needs such as medical needs.

    • Twin falls says:

      I have a j-o-b, I’m employed to my full economic potential and my ex during our marriage and still now earns digits more than me. A marriage is an economic partnership where both parties are equals despite any earned income disparity. Marriage is also a social/economic safety net and whether or not you think the lower earning spouse deserves to not free fall off an economic cliff post-divorce, the laws are in place to try and prevent that especially when children are involved.

      • Klu says:

        I’m in the divorce process and I just can’t imagine asking my ex for support but you’re 100% right, I shouldn’t be so judgemental. I apologize.

        But I do have an opinion that it should be an exception to have happen rather than an expectation.

      • Twin falls says:

        We all have our own opinions based on our own circumstances, totally normal reaction. I actually didn’t ask for spousal support partly because of the stigma around it and fear of being called a gold digger (which I get from him anyway) but I firmly believe in it and its necessity and wish there were more understanding about it. I’m speaking from my own experience and that of people I personally know (not Kelly clarkson’s divorce) but when there is a large income disparity in a marriage, there is also usually a large power imbalance.

        Funny how it’s so often the bitter ex-wife getting the good guy ex-husbands money in I know of someone spousal support scenarios.

      • McGee says:

        Re: “bitter ex-wife”

        I think it’s wise to consider WHY someone is bitter. How did she get that way? We’re quick to slap that moniker down and dismiss a woman. But sometimes “good guys” aren”t good spouses, just pleasant and fun and personable in public.

        “Nice guise.”

    • lucy2 says:

      There are situations where spousal support is appropriate, especially if one party left the workforce or reduced their work hours to do the majority of the parenting or help launch a family business.
      But 2 wealthy people who each have jobs capable of supporting themselves, with a pre-nup? No. Hopefully this is payment ends quickly for her, and she recoups millions from the other lawsuit.

  2. Lizzie says:

    Where is TMZ commenting that he is ‘cashing in’ as they did with Melinda French Gates?

  3. Bettyrose says:

    Ugh. I feel like she has endured more than her fair share of crap in this business. I hope she finds true love and a drama free life after this.

  4. February-Pisces says:

    I’m surprised rich people get married at all. Why bother if you gonna get screwed financially. Luckily for kelly it’s just until the divorce is finalised, but still.

    • Chicken Tetrazzini! says:

      Which means her ex and his lawyer will drag this thing out as long as they possibly can

    • Haylie says:

      Probably for “some” of the same reasons other people get married. Love and companionship, or plans to raise children. But man, I feel like Oprah got it right (it at least works for her).

      For the most part, no wealthy celebrity will hurt even after having to financially support an ex-spouse to the tune of millions or billions. Jeff Bezos still gets to take his share of billions and play union-busting space ranger.

      But it does suck realizing that they’ve been played and have to carry someone who may have even been cheating on them. Like Mary J Blige and Kendu Isaacs, or Wendy Williams and her ex who had a whole baby with another woman during their marriage.

      • Isabella says:

        Jeff Bezos’s wife earned it. She married him when he had nothing and stayed married to him for 25 years. She’s also the mother of his kids and a novelist in her own right. I love that she married a science teacher in Seattle after the divorce.

        Meanwhile, Jeff hasn’t married his girlfriend. If he does, I’m sure there will be a pre-nup.

        I imagine he’s hard to live with, like any billionaire.

        Kelly’s husband sounds like a jerk. She’s well rid of him.

    • lucy2 says:

      IKR? Jennifer Aniston’s not-quite-legal marriage would be the way I’d go if I were super wealthy. Commitment ceremony and celebration, but no messy legal split.

      • Lena says:

        Yeah Jennifer Aniston was smart I’ll say. Although I think it had more to do with not being able to come to an prenuptial agreement more than a planned commitment ceremony. Just my opinion of course.

  5. SaraTor says:

    I don’t particularly like spousal support either, but if the gender roles were reversed I wonder if the reaction would be more tempered? I’ve seen people say “go get what you’re owed” to ex wives but to ex husbands it’s the opposite often. If you are with a rich successful person, likely your spousal support will be a lot, regardless of gender. In this case, if he embezzled money then that’s different, if he never sees the kids then the child support is too much, but if the court finds otherwise…. the amount won’t go down much.

  6. Rae says:

    I don’t get spousal support, I really don’t. That is one American thing that flummoxes me completely. Child support, absolutely, as it’s supposed to ensure the child can have a similar quality of life with both parents.

    But can anyone explain to me why spousal support is a thing?

    • lunchcoma says:

      In the vast majority of cases, it’s a temporary measure meant to help low earning spouses find housing they can afford, look for work, or update their work credentials. The person who it originally had in mind was more along the lines of an older woman whose children were grown, but who had spent enough time as a stay at home mother that her career prospects were limited.

    • Haylie says:

      Spousal support is basically to keep a roof over the heads of people who have limited career prospects. At least, temporarily. If you gave up a career to raise a family, getting a job if things fall apart is easier said than done. It is very difficult to re-enter the workforce with lagging skills. Especially if the breadwinner is the type that insists you don’t work and you be at their beck and call. I’ve heard too many men be all “I want my lady home with the kids,” and “I want to be able to spontaneously go on a vacation” pull that “she’s not entitled to my money and should get a job” when things head south or when he has another woman waiting in the wings.

      Spousal support doesn’t have to be permanent (and is terminated if the supported gets remarried), but it isn’t completely unnecessary.

    • deezee says:

      Not an “American thing” as spousal support is also available in Canada too. It is meant to support the economically disadvantaged partner. And there are many many reasons that may be the case. And it can be temporary or long term depending on how the status of each (now) ex partner changed via either marriage or finances.

    • February-Pisces says:

      My friends husbands parents got divorced like over 20 years ago, and the had a couple of kids who were in their teens at the time. They are now in their thirties and their mother still gets spousal support from their father. She takes like 40% of his income and will continue to do so, and he has a really good job. He has remarried but she hasn’t and refuses to get a job. She apparently really bitter still towards him.

      I don’t know the full story but when I heard that I couldn’t believe it, I was shocked that this was legal. I understand until the kids are 18 but no one should be collecting payments after that.

      • Fortuona says:

        These thing run until the kids are out of college .Lamaar Odem got pinged for that last week

      • Blairski says:

        This is the type of settlement that hopefully isn’t happening any more. It was really common when my parents got divorced in the 1970′s, but in states such as California, which has a pretty straightforward system for calculating divorce settlements (I think could be wrong on that) I don’t think most people get that amount for that long.

    • Rae says:

      Cheers all!

    • Jessi says:

      My grandmother was divorced by her husband in the 1940s. She was then a single woman with an 8th grade education and a baby. There was no such thing as child support or spousal support at the time. You know who was hiring women for decent-paying jobs that could cover housing, food, utilities and child care when there was a flood of post-war GIs coming back from WWII? F***ing nobody, that’s who. The world is somewhat different now, but these things were created for a reason.

  7. lunchcoma says:

    This is honestly pretty typical for people with that kind of wealth. I understand that her husband is a sleaze, but a judge ordering temporary spousal support is not going to be able to have the kinds of hearings necessary to determine that someone committed fraud.

  8. Skye says:

    Spousal support comes from the days when women were stay-at-home mothers, having married young and without a college education, and so if the couple got divorced, the women would be stuck without a marketable education or career, having sacrificed those things to “work” for the family.

  9. Natters5 says:

    I’m all for men getting their fare share of a divorce settlement if their wife is the main breadwinner in the family but this seems quite excessive especially since she has primarily custody and there are questions to how much her husband and father-in-law made from her. My friend is going through something similar with her divorce. She is the main breadwinner and her husband wants her to pay 90% of the childcare yet give him 14 thousand a month for child support even though they have split custody and she will have to pay for almost all expenses. It’s like these men are punishing these women for daring to divorce them. I don’t like unfair divorce settlements from either sex.

  10. Merricat says:

    I hope she gets back every cent he embezzled from her.

  11. Rural Juror says:

    Maybe this is because I’m a family law lawyer, but I don’t see how this is an example of Kelly being screwed over by her lawyer. Kelly makes crazy money and is paying half of what her ex was asking for. Plus, this is only temporary and (particularly if the judge finds that Blackstock was misusing martial funds and/or stealing money from Kelly) those temporary payments can be considered an advance on his share of the marital estate. This is a win for Kelly.

    • lunchcoma says:

      Family law isn’t my practice area, but this all sounds right to me. The courts aren’t dismissing the allegations of embezzlement. This just isn’t the stage of proceedings where they evaluate those claims.

    • sparky says:

      Cali family law attorney here…

      1. California is a community property state. Thus, any income earned during the marriage is community property. (also why date of separation is key) My dad, a high powered attorney, used to say that he and my stay at home mom were a partnership. For him to go to work he needed my mom to take care of stuff at home. Conversely, for my mom to take care of everything in her domain she needed my dad’s income. They were one team. It’s not quite as cut and dry here but the principle applies.

      2. Just because everyone says the guy played fast and loose with the cash doesn’t mean that he did. The court needs something more solid.

      3. The whole 10 year marriage “thing” also applies here. Very broadly speaking, the supported spouse in a marriage of less than 10 years is expected to become self supporting in a period of time equal to 1/2 the length of the marriage. In this case that would be approximately 3.5 years. Lifetime spousal support is not in the cards for him

  12. Coji says:

    If their genders were switched we’d all be applauding. It’s patriarchal bullshit to think that it’s wrong or unmanly for a man to get the same level of spousal support that a woman would get in a similar situation.

    • Maria says:

      It’s not patriarchal in my opinion to think so. Women make less money and have less wealth in the first place. Maybe not in this instance (I don’t know anything about them but I’m sure Kelly’s worth is higher obviously), but certainly overall.

      • Coji says:

        I disagree. I’m not sure how the two issues are related. There’s a perception that it’s unmasculine for a man to get support presupposes that being there’s something inherently weaker in being a woman. That smells like patriarchy to me.

        Or is your argument that the amount shouldnt be the same because he has more income potential?

      • Maria says:

        The second.
        Of course it’s not unmasculine to receive support. But the unequal earning power and also asset control regarding men vs women, I believe should be taken into account. That’s just me.

    • lucy2 says:

      IMO it depends on the situation, not the gender. If one partner sacrificed for the benefit of the other, and has less earning power and job prospects, then support is called for.

      In this situation, Brandon is the CEO of a talent management company, with a number of clients including Blake Shelton, so clearly he can support himself just fine.

  13. Dee Kay says:

    I’m not a superfan of Kelly Clarkson but she comes across as a kind, sweet person and a powerhouse, extremely gifted singer, and so I low-key root for her. (I tried watching her show once and couldn’t, though — too hokey and cringey for me.) The way her marriage has played out makes me sad. She seems to have married quite a bad dude — not the worst, not Jeffrey Epstein-levels bad — but to think this guy, who she loved and who she wanted to committed to for all of her life, (allegedly) defrauded her for millions, so that she has to sue him, and THEN on top of living with that betrayal, she has to financially support him to this degree for a period of time? Ugh. I just think of the young person she was, the very definition of “making it” on the basis of pure talent and likability, and feel sad this is who she ended up marrying and having to deal with forever. (But, ofc, she can hopefully find happiness in the future, either with someone new or by herself.)

    • H says:

      Apparently Kelly’s husband learned to defraud women from his father, who did this to Reba. Kelly’s soon-to-be ex is a do*che canoe.

  14. Isabella says:

    At least Kelly got kids out of this marriage. That is a huge blessing. She has a family now, in other words.

  15. jferber says:

    She fell for a user who had a very specific game to play her and defraud her of money. I feel so bad for her. These slick bastards have quite a charm game going because they are con men and gain your confidence to screw you over. I honestly can’t say that I could resist the world-class vipers who attach themselves to wealthy women. I do remember buying a pair of shoes a size too small for me from an enchantingly beautiful French Canadian shoe salesman. I later returned them, but the long con would be for very high stakes with few or no tells.

  16. Anonymous says:

    A wealthy person will always end up paying a lot of $ when they divorce someone with significant less wealth. The best strategy for her is to mitigate the loss and move on. She has two kids with this man. She earns 1.9 million per month. She will keep 1.7 and pay him 200k (at least temporarily). She should enjoy her wealth, her children, her thriving career, etc. Being happy is the best revenge. Hopefully when time passes she will be able to coparent with him in a somewhat peaceful manner. I wish her the best!!