The Real Reason Kelly Clarkson Pays Child Support Despite Having Primary Custody of Her Kids

Kelly Corbett - Author
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Jan. 5 2024, Published 2:58 p.m. ET

kelly clarkson
Source: getty images

After winning the first season of American Idol in 2002, Kelly Clarkson became a household name. She’s since on to break music history, start her own namesake talkshow, and start a family.

Kelly was previously married to Brandon Blackstock. But in June 2020, they split after almost seven years of marriage. During their marriage, Kelly and Brandon welcomed two children together, River Rose, and Remington Alexander.

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But Kelly and Brandon's divorce was dragged out due to lengthy disputes over custody and spousal support. While they were declared legally single in August 2021, it wasn't until March 2022 that they finally reached a settlement after a messy legal battle.

A California judge awarded Kelly with the family's Montana ranch and primary custody of their children.

What surprises many people is that although Kelly was granted primary custody of River and Remington, she still has to pay child support, and no that's not including the spousal support she has to pay to Brandon. Why does Kelly have to pay child support? Here's what we know.

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kelly clarkson brandon blackstock
Source: getty images

Why does Kelly Clarkson pay child support?

While it may seem unusual, Kelly Clarkson pays her ex-husband Brandon Blackstock a total of $45,601 per month for their two children, River Rose and Remington Alexander, per The Blast. She will pay this child support until her kids turn 18. Kelly also has to pay Brandon $115,000 per month in spousal support until Jan. 31, 2024.

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Given that Kelly was granted primary custody over their two kids, it may not seem logical that Kelly is the one to pay up. However, Kelly's monthly payments are due to her higher salary and California state law.

In California, where Kelly and Brandon's divorce was finalized, child support orders are based on both parents' incomes.

Since the "Since You've Been Gone" crooner earns substantially more, she contributes a larger portion financially to the children's upbringing even though she holds primary custody of their children. Basically, Kelly's financial contribution ensures their welfare and ensures Brandon can adequately provide for them during his visitation time.

Furthermore, state law requires both parents to share the financial responsibility of raising their children, regardless of who has primary custody.

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Kelly Clarkson performs live on NBC's "Today" at Rockefeller Plaza on September 22, 2023 in New York City.
Source: getty images

Kelly Clarkson never wants to get married again.

Since Kelly's grueling divorce, the talk show host has been in no rush to get into another relationship. In January 2024, Kelly told People that she is enjoying being single.

While she's not opposed to meeting someone new, Kelly told the outlet that she doesn't picture herself ever getting married again.

“I never wanted to get married the first time,” she explains.

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“[Brandon] had children, a religious background, and it was important, I think, for him. But I’ve never been that person. Because I’ve been through a couple divorces in my family, I just don’t like to put any weight on it. It can happen; it doesn’t have to happen. For my kids, I definitely would never even think about it until they’re out of my house.”

Kelly is a child divorce, with her parents getting a divorce when she was just six years old.

She currently lives in New York with her two kids while Brandon resides in Montana. Per their custody agreement, Brandon gets their children one weekend a month.

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