Halle Berry Reaches Hefty Child Support Settlement—Why Celebrities End Up Paying Such High Sums

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Halle Berry Reaches Hefty Child Support Settlement—Why Celebrities End Up Paying Such High Sums
Halle Berry Reaches Hefty Child Support Settlement—Why Celebrities End Up Paying Such High Sums


Halle Berry and her ex-husband Olivier Martinez have reportedly finalized their divorce and reached a child support agreement after nearly eight years of fighting for custody of their 9-year-old son, and while the $8,000 per month she’ll pay Martinez for child support may seem hefty, it’s a relatively small price to pay in the world of the ultra-wealthy.

Key Facts

Movie star Berry and French actor Martinez filed for divorce in 2015 after just over two years of marriage, but legal proceedings stretched for more than seven years.

The two will share joint legal and physical custody of their son, according to court documents obtained by CNN, and Berry will pay her ex-husband 4.3% of any annual income she makes above $2 million, $8,000 a month in child support and will pay for their son’s private school tuition, extracurricular activities, health insurance and therapist, according to USA Today.

In California, where a majority of celebrity divorces are filed, child support is determined not necessarily by how much a parent makes but is based on the disparity of income between the two and how much time the child will spend with each parent, according to California Child Support Services.

California law outlines that it is a parent’s responsibility to support a child “according to circumstances and station” and to provide their children a “lifestyle commensurate” to their own, which can mean celebrities make high-dollar payments to ensure their children will live a similar lifestyle to the one that they would have if their parents were together, or when moving between parents.

Some Of The Biggest Celebrity Child Support Settlement

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian—West’s net worth was valued at $1.8 billion in 2021, the same year he divorced Kim Kardashian and was ordered to pay her $200,000 per month in child support for their four children, who spend most of their time with Kardashian. West now has an estimated net worth of $400 million, after losing his lucrative Adidas deal, while Kardashian has an estimated net worth of $1.7 billion.

Donald and Ivana Trump—It was reported by the New York Times back in 1991 that then-future President Donald Trump would pay his now-deceased ex-wife Ivana $650,000 annually—$54,611 per month— to support the couple’s three children. That’s the equivalent of about $124,000 monthly today. The couple’s youngest child, Eric Trump, turned 18 in 2002.

Kelly Clarkson and Brandon BlackstockAmerican Idol winner-turned-talk-show-host Kelly Clarkson agreed to pay her husband $45,600 in monthly child support for their two children, of whom they share joint legal custody but she has primary physical custody. Clarkson was a judge on The Voice and has had 31 songs on the Billboard Hot 100. Blackstock is a producer most well known for his work on Clarkson’s talk show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, and was the stepson of country star Reba McEntire for 26 years. Clarkson and Blackstock were married for eight years.

Nas and Kelis—Rapper Nas, whose legal name is Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, was in 2009 ordered to pay his ex-wife Kelis Rogers $44,000 in monthly alimony and child support—the equivalent of about $63,000 today. Kelis filed for divorce in April of 2009, when she was seven months pregnant, and a judge issued the order hours after she gave birth to their first and only child.

Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee Simmons—Hip-hop mogul Russell in 2009 agreed to pay $40,000 a month in child support to Kimora Lee Simmons until their two daughters reached the age of 19 years and six months. The divorce settlement granted Simmons visitation rights and also gave his ex-wife final say on if the girls would be featured in her then-reality show “Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane,” NBC’s Today reported at the time.

Jesse Williams and Aryn Drake-Lee—Actor Jesse Williams was initially ordered by a judge to pay his ex-wife $40,000 per month in child support when he was working on the hit show Grey’s Anatomy, where he reportedly made $6.2 million and $183,000 in residuals. Williams had his child support payments dramatically slashed after leaving Grey’s and starring in the Broadway show Take Me Out, where he said he made $1,668 per week. He now pays $6,413 a month.

Sean Combs and Misa Brim—Combs, the artist formerly known as Puff Daddy and aspiring cannabis businessman, was ordered to pay $35,000 per month in 2004, $57,000 today, in child support for his son with stylist Brim. Combs was making $50 million yearly at the time, court documents showed, and his lawyer called the payment “adult support” for Brim and the two children she previously had. Combs now has seven children from four different women, the youngest of which was born last year.

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline—Spears is said to have paid her ex-husband Kevin Federline $10,000 per month for each of their two children before he appealed to the court for three times more in 2018. Spears was still under the conservatorship of her father, Jamie Spears, at the time and he refused to triple the payments, but it was reported later that year that she’d agreed to pay an undisclosed amount more. Federline in May confirmed he wanted to move his now-wife and children with Spears to Hawaii to “escape the publicity,” Page Six reported, but some fans surmised the move was spurred by a Hawaii law that allows parents to collect child support until their children are 23 years old.

Further Reading

Prenups And Spousal Support — What We Know About Britney Spears And Sam Asghari’s Divorce (Forbes)

What Kim Kardashian, Brad Pitt, And Cheryl Burke Can Teach Us About Dividing Unconventional Assets Throughout A Divorce (Forbes)

For Richer And Richest: Inside The Billion-Dollar Marriages, Open Relationships And Bitter Divorces Of The Forbes 400 (Forbes)

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