Yellowstone star Kevin Costner has caught a major break in his divorce case with estranged wife Christine Baumgartner. On Tuesday, July 11, Judge Thomas Anderle ruled that the actor has to pay the former handbag designer $129,755 per month in child support for their three children, multiple outlets reported.
The amount is less than half of what Christine asked for, as she was seeking $248,444 a month in child support. Kevin had previously offered $38,000 per month, plus “100 percent of child-related expenses.” The former couple share three children, Cayden, 16, Hayes, 14, and Grace, 13.
In the interim ruling, Anderle concluded that Kevin and Christine will split the cost of their children’s sports, health care and extracurricular activities. The actor will also have to pay $100,000 in forensic expenses and $200,000 in legal fees.
On Wednesday, July 13, the judge extended Kevin’s temporary monthly child support payments. He also denied Kevin’s lawyer’s request to settle the matter of child support before a November 27 trial to determine the validity of challenging the couple’s prenuptial agreement. The judge said an “evidentiary hearing is unlikely in the foreseeable future” regarding child support, so the current tentative ruling still stands.
Kevin’s lawyer also requested to have 10 days to review the final forensic accountant files before the trial because there are nearly 9,000 pages to go through.
Kevin claimed that Christine was seeking the higher child support amount as leverage to move out of his $145 million Carpinteria, California, estate.
In court paperwork filed by his lawyer on July 5 and obtained by In Touch, Kevin claimed Christine “stubbornly refused to vacate the property and instead tried to leverage an award of $248,000 per month in child support from [Costner] in exchange for her agreement to vacate.”
The Field of Dreams star had called Christine’s nearly quarter of a million-dollar request “highly inflated and unsubstantiated,” in a July 5 filing in the Superior Court of California. “Providing the minor children with more than bare necessities does not require providing ludicrous extravagance designed to primarily benefit the supported parent,” the court documents obtained by multiple outlets continued.
The document added, “Guideline monthly child support based on Kevin’s gross cash flow available for support is $123,620.”
In additional court documents obtained by In Touch, Kevin requested that his estranged wife pay $99,925 in legal fees, motivated by her breaking components of their prenuptial agreements. The request is set to go to court on August 2
Christine had hired a forensic accountant to dig into the truth about Kevin’s finances. “His empire is vast and spread across many different companies, and, potentially, there are secret investments,” a source told In Touch exclusively. Kevin claimed she used $95,000 of his money without his knowledge to pay for the audit. “Christine is not taking any chances and wants to show that she means business,” said the source.
“I realize our lifestyle is extraordinary,” Christine acknowledged in court documents, revealing that Kevin made about $19.5 million in 2022 and the family spent more than $500,000 a month in expenses.
In late June, Kevin filed a declaration with the court requesting that Christine vacate their Carpinteria home. “I do not believe that it is healthy for Christine and I to be in limbo or to be sharing space…,” he contended. “Christine has the financial ability to find alternate housing on a temporary or permanent basis, and I have consistently offered to assist her with zero response from her or her representatives.”
A clause in the former couple’s prenuptial agreement stated Christine had 30 days to vacate the Carpinteria compound after filing for divorce in May, but she remained there far past that date. Her attorneys had requested she have until August 31 to move out once a child support agreement was made. Kevin requested that she moved out by July 13. The Oscar winner scored another victory when Judge Anderle ruled on July 5 that Christine had to vacate the home by the end of the month.
Kevin filed new divorce documents relating to the home on Friday, July 14. The paperwork, obtained by In Touch, was made to “prevent [Christine] from removing [Kevin’s] separate property from his home, and to insure an orderly process for the removal of her separate property (if any).”
“Under the PMA (pre-marital agreement) there is no community property,” the documents read. In response, Christine called her estranged husband’s “apparent fear that I will strip the house bare is completely unfounded. With the exception of a handful items which I have described in detail, I have provided Kevin with pictures of the items I plan to remove. … Kevin will not be harmed by my removal of any of the items I have listed, and certainly not personal items such as my peloton bike and family heirlooms.”
Christine filed for divorce from Kevin after 18 years of marriage on May 2. “It is with great sadness that circumstances beyond his control have transpired which have resulted in Mr. Costner having to participate in a dissolution of marriage action,” Kevin’s rep told TMZ, adding, “We ask that his, Christine’s and their children’s privacy be respected as they navigate this difficult time.”
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