From Black Voices — Watching the messy divorce of Nas and Kelis, you have to wonder is Kelis rightfully saying, “You Owe Me”? Or is she a highway robber in a skirt? Maybe there was a better way to keep this entire matter private and you know what, I think I’ve got the answer.
When Nas and Kelis divorced, the MC was ordered to pay the quirky singer $51,000 per month for child and spousal support. On April 13, he was ordered to pay an additional $299,015.50 — including $155,787.28 in attorney fees and $48,549.83 in accounting expenses — at a rate of $10,000 per month until the debt is cleared, along with paying $47,249.42 in back child support and $40,454 in back spousal support. Pretty jaw-dropping, right?
But does Kelis deserve that much money?
First, I’m ignoring the legal system because the courts handle divorces too generally. In this, my op-ed piece, my rules supersede the court’s. Besides, Kelis’ legal action seems to stem more from her desire for retribution than any real monetary need.
In 2009, the songstress asked for $90,000 each month for child and spousal support and many began calling her a gold digger. She defended the sum, saying she was “entitled” to maintain her previous lifestyle during her marriage to Nas, including dropping a reported $15,000 per month on “entertainment, gifts and vacations.”
This is where Kelis and I disagree.
Nas is entitled to the lifestyle he maintains from the career that he built prior to their marriage, not Kelis. Whatever they earned as a union, she is entitled to half. The only thing that should be factored into her monthly support is their child, Knight, who deserves the lifestyle into which he was born. But I’m quite sure the baby isn’t wearing gold diapers so the need for that much dough each month is a bit peculiar.
Besides, divorce is all about separation, and Kelis needs to make her own way. With a successful music career and her upcoming album, ‘Flesh Tone,’ she can use that income for all the fur coats she desires.
But Nas doesn’t escape blame either.
Getting a prenup — or not pissing off Kelis — could have spared both parties this legal and public spectacle. But if Nas can’t pick a beat, how can we expect a smart marital decision?
My solution? I propose “Marriage Severance Pay.” Many view marriage as a job anyway and when someone is laid off, the ex-employee can’t ask their old boss to “maintain” their lifestyle. Upon separation, the employer cuts a severance check based upon the employee’s years of service, and the dismissed must manage the rest of his or her life. Marriages should dissolve in the same manner. A lump sum should be appropriate for each divorcée, and child support should cover the child’s needs along with a pre-determined trust fund allotment. Sounds fair, right?
Until then, Nas is ‘Caught Out There,’ while Kelis raps “You Can Hate Me Now” all the way to the bank.