PRENUP UPHELD! Kelly Clarkson Protects 45 Million in Assets – But Did She Have to Worry About Her Premarital Property?
Back in December, we discussed Clarkson’s divorce in the context of soon-to-be ex-husband Brandon Blackstock’s request for $436,000 per month in support, which was contrary to the parties’ Prenuptial Agreement (Prenup). In late July, the Court ordered Clarkson to pay Blackstock $150,000 per month in temporary spousal support (alimony) and $45,000 per month in temporary child support.
Yesterday, a California Judge upheld singer Kelly Clarkson’s Prenup. So what does that mean for Clarkson? Well, we still have not seen the actual agreement itself but if we take what the tabloids are saying as true (which I am only doing for the purposes of discussion), Clarkson will get to keep her almost 45 million dollars in assets completely separate from Blackstock. But Clarkson was famous before she met Blackstock, so surely she had assets that were already hers, right? Of course.
When you get married, anything you have before your marriage is pre-marital property. Clarkson had substantial assets when she got married, but there were things she could have done during her marriage that would have exposed those pre-marital assets and possibly convert them to partially or fully marital assets. For things like bank accounts, if you add money to pre-marital accounts that was earned during your marriage then that account is now comingled and at least partially marital. For properties, if you own a home prior to your marriage and then put substantial funds into the home during your marriage (paying mortgages, making repairs/updates, etc.), then your spouse can make a claim for a marital contribution to a premarital asset. That does not mean the house can be sold (unless the house is retitled jointly during the marriage) but the court can consider that marital assets went to an asset that only one spouse has and adjust the equities accordingly via a marital award.
Clarkson’s Prenup allegedly states that all assets that were hers prior to the marriage remain hers and that any income/revenue she earned during the marriage is also hers. So Clarkson protected herself and now anything she purchased, even during the marriage, would remain her sole and separate property. This includes the Montana ranch where Blackstock is currently residing. Additionally, there are rumors that the Prenup also has a much lower amount of spousal support. There will surely be additional information forthcoming as the divorce wraps up.
** The topics in this blog are based on Maryland law, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have assets and are getting married, you should consult an attorney on how to protect your pre-marital assets.**