It was only a matter of time before she'd face a moment like this...
Kelly Clarkson thought her marital woes were over when she filed for divorce from Brandon Blackstock back in June after nearly seven years of marriage. But now that their split has taken a nasty turn — due to a bitter new legal battle — the Voice coach, 38, is vowing to stand strong.
"Kelly's a tough woman," says a source, "and is rumored to be telling pals she won't let Brandon destroy her."
The same goes for his family. In September, Clarkson was sued by her longtime management company, which is run by her father-in-law, Narvel Blackstock, for more than $1.4 million in unpaid commissions.
"The lawsuit really took the wind out of Kelly. She was with them for 13 years and made the company so much money. Now it feels like they're going after her life savings," spills the source, noting that Clarkson's also said to be upset with her 43-year-old ex.
"If Brandon thinks he's got the upper hand with this lawsuit and that he can get more money out of her in the divorce, he can think again," warns the source. "Kelly's prepared to play hardball in court and drag out his dirty laundry on her daytime talk show too. There will be no gagging her."
In private, Clarkson's been leaning heavily on her therapist to help her — and her two kids, River, 6, and Remington, 4 — cope with the changes divorce has thrown their way. "It's tough on anybody to go through something like this, but Kelly's heart breaks for her kids, who've had their home life turned upside down," shares the source, adding that while Clarkson felt "immense guilt" for ending the marriage, she knows it's the best decision for her.
"She wasn't happy with Brandon," adds the insider. "And though she did try, staying together just for the kids' sake wasn't an option for her. She had to move on."
Clarkson and Blackstock tied the knot in 2013, but issues plagued the couple, including rumors that Blackstock (who is also father to Savannah, 18, and Seth, 13, from his first marriage) had a wandering eye.
As OK! previously reported, the decision to split was hard on the American Idol winner, but Clarkson is finally starting to look towards the future. "She was miserable in the marriage," said our insider, "and has come to realize that leaving was necessary."