Kelly Clarkson Child Support and Alimony

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A couple of weeks ago, singer Kelly Clarkson was ordered to pay her soon-to-be ex-husband Brandon Blackstock $150,000 per month of spousal support (alimony) and $45,601 in child support. Some people are criticizing this award and referring to it as “manimony.”

This order of the court is temporary, but will total over $2.3 million per year if it continues for the long term. Clarkson and Blackstock have two children together, ages 5 and 7.  Blackstock initially requested $436,000 per month of support, so the temporary award is less than half that amount.

Why has Kelly been ordered to pay so much?

The biggest reason is probably Clarkson’s income. Court documents show that she makes $1.9 million per month. Blackstock doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of money. The courts look at the relative income of the parties, and want to make sure that the non-monied spouse is able to continue to live a lifestyle equivalent to that of the marriage. (That’s why a lifestyle analysis is often done in high net worth cases.) We look at the “marital standard of living” and do calculations to determine how much the spouses need after the divorce to continue this standard of living. Continue reading