A Complete Timeline Of Kelly Clarkson's Messy Divorce

Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock once seemed to have a true fairytale romance. The happy couple announced their engagement in December 2012 and Clarkson shouted her excitement from the social media rooftops. "I'M ENGAGED!!!!! I wanted y'all to know!! Happiest night of my life last night!" the star tweeted. "I am so lucky and am with the greatest man ever :) ." The original "American Idol" winner then proudly showed off her huge engagement ring on WhoSay. The post, which has since been deleted, featured a yellow canary diamond with white diamonds surrounding it, which Blackstock designed himself (via Us Weekly).

Fast-forward 10 months to October 2013 and the two officially tied the knot, with an excited Clarkson sharing the big news on Twitter alongside a stunning wedding photo. The snap showed Blackstock planting a kiss on her cheek as she rocked her white wedding dress and gorgeous bouquet, which featured sunflowers. "I'm officially Mrs. Blackstock :) We got married yesterday at Blackberry Farms in TN, the most beautiful place ever!" she wrote on October 21, 2013. By June 2014, the twosome became parents to a daughter named River Rose (Blackstock already has two children from a previous relationship). They were blessed once more in April 2016 when they welcomed son Remington Alexander.

But, sadly, this one wasn't meant to be and things have unfortunately turned a little sour for the once picture-perfect couple. Scroll on for a timeline of Clarkson and Blackstock's increasingly nasty split.

Kelly Clarkson's divorce filing came as a shock

Kelly Clarkson's divorce came as a surprise to fans, as she and Brandon Blackstock seemed pretty happy in the months leading up to their breakup.

The first sign of trouble in paradise actually came when Clarkson filed for divorce in June 2020, almost seven years after she and Blackstock tied the knot. The twosome even managed to keep the split a secret for a whole week before the news went public, with Us Weekly reporting in June 2020 that Clarkson had filed at the top of that month, listing "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for their split. 

This news arrived a few months after Clarkson gave her talk show audience a tour of the Montana cabin she and Blackstock shared and had been hiding out in with their children amid the coronavirus pandemic. On a March 2020 episode of "The Kelly Clarkson Show," the host gave viewers a good look around the property (more to come on this contentious cabin later), which included shots of her now estranged husband riding around on a horse, plus photos and videos of family time as they played in the snow. Clarkson even worked from the cabin during the pandemic, chatting with celebrity guests virtually and even having her kids pop in to say hi to stars like Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick.

Kelly Clarkson fired back at a troll's remarks about her split

Kelly Clarkson stayed pretty quiet about her personal life for a while in the wake of her divorce filing, but somewhat addressed her split publicly for the first time via an epic clapback at a troll.

The star couldn't hold her tongue on social media in August 2020 when a Twitter user referenced her breakup and suggested that her marriage "didn't work" because she was too busy with her career (via People). The snarky remark came after it was revealed Clarkson would be sitting in for Simon Cowell as a guest judge on an episode of "America's Got Talent" in the wake of his scary back injury.

The original tweet Clarkson quoted has since been deleted, but her epic response remains on the social media site as of August 2021. "Wow. Shaming a woman who has a great work ethic, is a great mom, and who steps up and fills in when a [friend] asks for a favor because that's actually what 'good old country girls' do....," the "Since U Been Gone" singer fired back on August 13, 2020, two months after filing divorce papers. She continued, "this can't be who you are deep down. I have more faith in your heart. Aim higher please," alongside a red heart emoji. You go, Clarkson.

Kelly Clarkson started to open up about the dissolution of her marriage

Kelly Clarkson finally spoke about her divorce directly when she returned to work on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" in September 2020. Being the open, honest, and real superstar she is, Clarkson opened the first show of Season 2 by telling viewers, "Let's get this out of the way: 2020 has been a dumpster fire." Well aware that her divorce was big news, she continued, "As you probably know, 2020 has also brought a lot of change to my personal life. Definitely didn't see anything coming that came." She went on to note that she wanted to maintain some level of privacy for the sake of her kids.

"What I'm dealing with is hard because it involves more than just my heart, it involves a lot of little hearts," she continued, referring to her and Blackstock's two children, as well as his kids from a previous marriage. "We know the best thing here is to protect our children and their little hearts. I'm usually very open, and I usually talk about everything, but in this case I will talk a little bit here and there about how it affects me personally, but probably won't go too far into it because, you know, I'm a mama bear, and my kids come first."

Clarkson also got candid about her split on "Today" that same month, revealing her plans to open up more about what happened in new music.

A legal battle began between Kelly Clarkson and her father-in-law

Okay. Brace yourself, because here's where things start to turn nasty. In September 2020, Brandon Blackstock's dad, Narvel Blackstock — the former husband of country superstar Reba McEntire — filed a lawsuit against Clarkson in which he accused the star of owing "more than $1.4 million in unpaid commissions this year, in addition to the $1.9 million she already paid" to his management company, Starstruck Management Group, according to People.

However, as People noted, Clarkson countersued and alleged that the management company had violated the California Labor Code for "procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment or engagements" without a license, which she felt meant the money owed should be "declared void and unenforceable."

In October 2020, things got even messier in the courtroom when Clarkson accused Brandon, Narvel, and Starstruck Management Group of having "defrauded her by charging her outlandish fees during her time with the team," according to Us Weekly. Per the outlet, legal papers filed by Clarkson claimed her estranged husband and father-in-law's company acted as a "fraudulent and subterfuge device" and provided "illegal services." On top of that, Clarkson alleged the "company defrauded her out of millions of dollars."

Brandon denied the allegations (via Us Weekly) and claimed Clarkson wasn't owed a penny from the company, as he alleged Starstruck Entertainment Group didn't have to abide by the Talent Agencies Act because the services they offered didn't take place in California.

Kelly Clarkson said 'there's nothing to hide'

Amid the nasty ongoing legal battle with Brandon Blackstock and his dad, Narvel Blackstock, Kelly Clarkson got a little more candid about her divorce and how she'd been coping over the months that followed her filing. Speaking to ET during her most in-depth divorce discussion so far, she doubled down on the fact she doesn't want to say too much for the sake of her children, but confirmed she'd been finding things difficult.

"I care one hundred percent more about my children than I do anything else on this planet. So, that's been the hard thing of, like, yes, I'm willing to share my experience and yes, it is the worst," she shared with the outlet in October 2020. "I mean, the past few months have been horribly sad. But at the same time, I have to think, 'Hmmm, like, what I say has a domino effect in other people's lives.'"

The star also appeared determined to keep things civil, at least in the public sphere, when it came to speaking about her estranged husband. "Nothing's wrong with anybody, it's just... it happens, and that's why there's nothing to hide about it in that sense. You know, it's just, divorce is a really s****y thing," she added.

Civility broke down between Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock

Though Kelly Clarkson didn't take the chance to speak negatively about Brandon Blackstock in public, behind the scenes, it seemed like it was a different story. Amid the messy battle going on in the courtroom over Starstruck Entertainment Group raged on, separate court documents pertaining to Clarkson and Blackstock's divorce revealed the truth about how they really felt about one another.

Docs seen by E! News in November 2020 stated that "the level of conflict between the parents has increased" and noted "the parties have a difficult time co-parenting due to issues of trust between them." That same month, Clarkson obtained primary physical custody of River and Remington, keeping them in Los Angeles while Blackstock remained in Montana. The court developments also included a few rules for the parents, including the stipulation that neither would "speak in a derogatory manner about the other parent" to their kids.

Also in November 2020, TMZ reported that Blackstock filed legal documents regarding the former couple's financial situation in the wake of their split. The site claimed the music manager wanted a whopping "$436,000 a month — $301k in spousal support and $135k in child support." But he wasn't done asking for cash there. Blackstock also reportedly asked for another $2 million from his estranged wife to pay his attorneys amid the ongoing divorce battle.

Kelly Clarkson wants her single status, and last name, back

Though things went a little quiet in Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock's divorce proceedings for a few months, more details began being made public knowledge again in July 2021. Clearly very much ready to move on from her marriage more than a year after filing for divorce, Us Weekly reported that the "I Dare You" singer and her lawyer had "filed a motion for a separate trial to terminate her marital status" while her divorce proceedings were still ongoing. In other words, she wanted to be legally single.

In the docs (via Us Weekly), Clarkson made it very clear there was no chance of a reconciliation, noting that "irreconcilable differences have existed and continue to exist between" herself and Blackstock, and that "no counseling or reconciliation effort will be of any value at this time." The star added that she and her estranged husband "both deserve the opportunity to build a new life" and asked the judge "that [her] request to bifurcate and terminate marital status be granted."

She doubled down on her point that she was very much ready to put her marriage behind her a month later. The Blast reported in August 2020 that Clarkson had also filed to legally get her last name back after changing her surname to Blackstock in her personal life when she married the music manager in 2013.

Kelly Clarkson enjoyed a husband-free family vacation

Kelly Clarkson appeared to make it clear that she'd very much moved on from Brandon Blackstock a few days after her request to become legally single was revealed in July 2021, as she showed off that she was very much happy and thriving without him while she treated their two children to some time away.

Clarkson headed to the Most Magical Place on Earth with the two kids she shares with Blackstock, though he appeared to be nowhere to be found. The "Miss Independent" singer posted an adorable photo to her Instagram account on July 14, 2021 of the adorable family vacation she took for three at Walt Disney World in Florida. The snap showed the star looking thrilled as she put her arms around her smiling kids, River and Remington, as they posed in front of rows of Stormtroopers from "Star Wars."

"We had so much fun at Disney World! All the rides were amazing but oh my gosh, y'all, Pandora and the Star Wars rides are where it's at! Thank you for a magical vacation, Disney," she wrote in the caption, alongside a red heart emoji.

Brandon Blackstock was granted a whopping amount of spousal support

That same month, it was revealed that Brandon Blackstock hadn't got the full amount he wanted out of Kelly Clarkson when it came to spousal and child support, but he was hardly left out in the cold when it came down to the cold hard cash.

The Blast reported on July 27, 2021, that Clarkson was "required to pay Brandon $150,000 per month in spousal support" plus $45,000 per month in child support for their children, River and Remington. The settlement was kept out of the spotlight for around three months before it was made public, with the pay-outs reported to have started on April 1, 2021.

While that certainly sounds like a staggering amount of money to the average person, it's not going to set Clarkson back too much. The court documents also revealed the "Breakaway" hitmaker's monthly earnings, confirming she makes an eye watering $1.5 million every month from her many gigs, including her hugely successful music career, being the host of "The Kelly Clarkson Show," and a repeat judge on "The Voice."

Brandon Blackstock made a major career change and more drama followed

It seemed like Brandon Blackstock also wanted to make a big change amid his divorce from Kelly Clarkson. As Us Weekly reported, documents made public in August 2021 revealed that Blackstock would be stepping back from the entertainment industry and his gig as Blake Shelton's manager. It was confirmed that Blackstock had been staying at the Montana ranch he and Clarkson once shared ever since their split, and according to the court docs obtained by Us Weekly, the father of four planned to "change his life and become a rancher full-time." Quite the pivot from the glitzy life he used to live rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest stars.

The docs indicated that Clarkson had wanted to sell the ranch because it had become what was described as a "financial burden," reportedly costing a whopping $81,000 a month. However, Clarkson's request to sell the property was denied because Blackstock needed it for his new line of work, as he told the court he wanted to spend "minimal time" managing Shelton in order to dedicate more energy to ranch work. 

That same month, TMZ reported a ruling made it so that Clarkson would not be responsible for paying the huge ranch fees, though it was revealed she would temporarily continue to pay Blackstock the almost $200,000 in spousal and child support.

Kelly Clarkson scored a major win in her divorce proceedings

A big win for Kelly Clarkson came later in August 2021. Brandon Blackstock attempted to contest the prenuptial agreement they both signed when they tied the knot and reportedly wanted the properties and the money she earned while they were married to be split between them. That could have resulted in the singer losing out on some serious cash, as Clarkson made millions of dollars since becoming Mrs. Blackstock.

According to TMZ, Clarkson was clearly thrilled about the news — so thrilled she "let out a scream" when she was told about the ruling while filming "The Voice" alongside her fellow coaches, Ariana Grande, John Legend, and Blackstock's former client Blake Shelton. Clarkson reportedly had a little celebration on the set of the NBC singing competition.

Another big win for the superstar? The ruling also meant that she was legally allowed to sell the Montana ranch that had become such a source of drama. Though the two were still legally married when Clarkson got the update, TMZ reported that "the actual dissolution of the marriage should be finalized within days" as the decision to honor the prenup made it a lot easier to divide up their assets.

Let's hope this is the last step in a long, and increasingly messy, road for these two so they can focus more on being great co-parents to their kids.