Nas To Pay Kelis $51,000 A Month In Support

Judge rules that rapper has means to increase child and spouse payments.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered rapper [artist id="1000"]Nas[/artist] on Wednesday to increase his monthly child- and spousal-support payments to estranged wife [artist id="509603"]Kelis[/artist] and [article id="1616763"]their infant son, Knight[/article].

According to The Associated Press, Judge David Cunningham III ordered the rapper (born Nasir Jones) to bump up his monthly child and spousal payments to $51,101, for a total of more than $600,000 a year. [article id="1616840"]Nas has been paying[/article] a court-mandated $40,000 a month since July.

The decision to increase the payments to Kelis and Knight came after a two-day hearing in which Cunningham determined that the New York MC made enough money in recent months to pay additional support. Nas' attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, said the judge made the right decision and that despite the payment bump, Nas came out ahead in the decision because he will no longer have to pay the expenses on the former couple's Los Angeles residence.

TMZ reported that during Wednesday's hearing, Kelis said that the couple -- who [article id="1610426"]announced their intention to divorce[/article] in April after a four-year marriage -- attempted to reconcile in September to no avail. She also reportedly testified that she has been having difficulty earning money because she is a new mother and doesn't have a lot of job options outside of the music business. She told the court that Nas is slated to release two albums in 2010.

Earlier this week, [article id="1627936"]Kelis, who recently signed a new record deal[/article] with Interscope through the Will.I.Am Music Group, told MTV News that she has been working on a new album with a "futuristic disco" sound, largely inspired by her pregnancy and the birth of Knight.