“American Idol” Alum Katharine McPhee Ordered to Pay Spousal Support in Divorce

February 24, 2016

Television actress and singer Katharine McPhee recently finalized her divorce – and, in the process, showed that even celebrities sometimes have to deal with difficult legal issues when ending their unions.

McPhee, who came to prominence on the reality TV show “American Idol” and later went on to star on scripted television shows like “Smash” and “Scorpion,” was married to her manager, Nicholas Costas. The pair officially tied the knot in 2008.

However, there was an argument about precisely when the marriage ended – and this date became an important issue during the divorce because it affected the amount of spousal support that Costas was due to receive, as well as property. McPhee claimed that the marriage ended, for all intents and purposes, when the couple separated in March 2013. Costas countered that the marriage did not end until the divorce was announced to the public in May 2014.

The significance of the one-year discrepancy was that McPhee had to account for income while the couple was still together. As a result of a Los Angeles Superior Court judge’s agreement with Costas and subsequent determination that the marriage did not end until May 2014, McPhee is going to have to pay more now that the divorce has been finalized. The divorce court ruled that McPhee must pay her ex between $102,000 and $400,000 in alimony annually, depending on what kinds of jobs she gets and how much she earns going forward. The alimony requirements are set to expire on October 31, 2017.

Additionally, the divorce court said that Costas is entitled to half of the income that McPhee earned while acting on the hit TV show “Smash,” as well as half of the money McPhee earned from the pilot episode of her latest TV show “Scorpion” and half of all funds derived from the rights to songs that McPhee recorded while the couple was still together.

There was some good news for McPhee: since the “later” date was chosen by the court for the end of the relationship, she only has to pay Costas $102K in back spousal support. Additionally, McPhee will be able to retain full rights to any income she made from touring and any other live performances of her songs after the couple legally separated in 2013.

For more information about this high-profile divorce, read the New York Daily News article, “Katharine McPhee’s Ex Walks Away with Large Sums after Two Finalize Divorce.”

A high net worth divorce can lead to numerous complications. If you are considering a divorce in New York, you need to talk to a qualified divorce lawyer before making any final decisions about how to proceed. Jonathan D. Katz is an experienced divorce attorney who is prepared to protect your rights throughout the divorce process. Contact Mr. Katz today to schedule a consultation about your case.

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