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The old adage of “cheaper to keep her” must have whizzed by Columbus Short in player school. Too bad, seeing that the struggle-laden actor who’s recently out of his Scandal job has just been hit upside the wallet in divorce court.

A judge is ordering Short to cough up nearly $25,000 a month to satiate estrange wife Tanee’s expenses. Good grief.

Reports TMZ:

Columbus Short is learning a lot about the legal system these days … today’s lesson — you don’t show up in family court and your wife will take you to the cleaners.

The former “Scandal” star was just ordered to fork over a whopping $17,005 a month in spousal support to estranged wife Tanee Short. And if that’s not enough, he also has to pay $4,542 a month in child support.

But wait … there’s more. Columbus got tagged for $25,000 to cover Tanee’s legal bills.

Short’s side of the counsel table was empty. No Short, no lawyer.

Short hasn’t even responded to Tanee’s divorce petition.

Blood … meet turnip.

Columbus probably didn’t see this extensive financial struggle coming but he all but asked for it. He allegedly repeatedly violated a court-ordered restraining order, with one account including a brush with a murder/suicide scenario.

He’s recently been moonlighting as a comedian while he tries to get his life together.

Obviously, the $25,000 monthly deductions will make that a challenging task.

Photo: Judy Eddy/