Singer, daytime talk-show host and "The Voice" coach Kelly Clarkson has won primary custody of her children with her estranged husband, talent manager Brandon Blackstock.
In divorce documents first obtained by People magazine, a Los Angeles County judge ruled that "under the circumstances present in this case, the interest in providing stability and continuity for the minor children weighs in favor of Petitioner [Clarkson] having primary custody." The ruling detailed that "the level of conflict between the parents has increased. The parties have a difficult time co-parenting due to issues of trust between them."
Clarkson, 38, and Blackstock, who turns 44 in two weeks, are the parents of daughter River Rose, 6, and son Remington Alexander, 4. Not at issue are Blackstock's two children from a previous marriage, daughter Savannah, 18, and son Seth, 14. Clarkson and Blackstock, who is the son of Clarkson's former manager, married in October 2013, and Clarkson filed for divorce this June.
While the ruling, issued in late October, gives the couple joint legal and physical custody, the children will live in Los Angeles with Clarkson. Blackstock, who plans to live on a ranch in Montana, will have visitation in Los Angeles on the first and fifth weekends of each month, and have the children in Montana on the third weekend, according to TMZ.com, which also obtained the public documents.
Additionally, said People, Blackstock will have the children over Thanksgiving breaks and from Dec. 19 through 2 p.m. Christmas Day. They then revert to Clarkson through New Year's.
Blackstock also was granted a daily video call with the children "at a mutually agreed upon time."
TMZ subsequently reported that Blackstock filed a reply Monday requesting $301,000 in monthly spousal support, $135,000 in monthly child support and $2 million in attorney's fees.
Neither Clarkson, a three-time Grammy Award winner and the inaugural "American Idol" champion in 2012, nor Blackstock has responded publicly to the court decision. Other issues remain before the divorce can be finalized.
Clarkson in October told the entertainment-news program "Extra" of her impending divorce, "Y'know, it's just that one day where you were like, 'Wow, this has really, like, forever changed,' and it's not just my heart that's forever changed, there's other little hearts involved."
She added, "I've really great family and friends that are there for me, but I think the difficult thing for me is that it's a very hard thing to navigate — to be able to be honest and share your story, so maybe you can help someone else, but at the same time protecting these little kids that you adore and they're the most important thing to you."