A recent article by Chloe Malas of CNN discussed the details of Kelly Clarkson’s divorce from her husband of seven years, Brandon Blackstock. The divorce agreement states that Clarkson is to pay Blackstock monthly child support of $45,601, a one-time alimony payment of $1.3 million dollars and $115,000 in monthly spousal support until January 31, 2024.
These amounts appear excessive on the surface. However, there are different considerations that the Court is attempting to address, (1) the best interest of the child and (2) equitable division of property.
Every parent of a child has a legal obligation to provide for that child. This means that it is the joint and several duty of each parent to provide for the maintenance, protection, and education of the child until they reach majority. In the State of Georgia, the obligation to pay child support will typically fall upon the non-custodial parent. Essentially, the distinction between the custodial and non-custodial parent comes down to the amount of parenting time. The parent with over 50% of the parenting time is considered the custodial parent. The amount of child support in Georgia is determined by the child support guidelines. The child support guideline is a table that assists the parties and the court with calculating qualifying income and deviations to income based off of considerations such as:
- high and/or low income
- Insurance payments
- Travel expenses/ alimony/ mortgage
- Extraordinary expenses
- Parenting time
- Social security benefits
- Spit parenting
In all cases where a determination of child custody or child support is at issue the Court will be guided by what is in the best interest of the child.
The issue of dividing property and assets between married couples is governed by equitable division. Georgia is a marital property state. This means that property, income and assets obtained during the marriage is equally owned by both parties. This is true regardless of income disparities between the parties. In other words, the unemployed spouse is entitled to the marital property to the same extent that the working spouse is. Alimony is a different matter and is governed by O.C.G.A §19-6-5. The Court will consider factors such as the standard of living established during the marriage, duration of the marriage, contribution to the marriage and financial resources of the parties just to name a few.
This certainly isn’t the first time a celebrity has been ordered to make substantial child support and alimony payments to a spouse. The important thing to remember is that regardless of the income or status of the parties involved, the considerations before the Court are the same. The Court will always look to ensure that the child’s interest are protected and that property is divided fairly. The Faucette Law Firm represents clients in all matters related to contested and uncontested divorce, child support, child custody, alimony and modifications. We assist clients with their legal matters from start to finish and pride ourselves on customer service. Contact our law office today for a consultation. (770) 485-6620.