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Kevin Costner to pay estranged wife Christine almost $130K monthly in child support as divorce drama continues

Kevin is paying his ex Christine half of what she requested

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 27: Christine Baumgartner and Kevin Costner attend the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
Faye James
Senior Editor
12 July 2023
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Tuesday's ruling brought about an arduous child support agreement in the divorce battle between Hollywood veteran Kevin Costner and his soon-to-be ex-wife, Christine Baumgartner. 

Kevin, 68, now faces a significant monthly payout of $129,755 following the judge's tentative decision, which notably exceeds what the Yellowstone star initially proposed to his estranged wife.

The order for Christine, 49, to move out of Kevin's mansion by July 31 added another layer to the drama. This term was based on their prenuptial agreement, stipulating that either party must vacate the shared property within 30 days of a divorce filing. 

Christine, having missed this deadline after filing first, now faces a new deadline. Although a July 12 court hearing could have provided some clarity, its current status remains unclear.

Kevin Costner, Christine Baumgartner and their children Grace Avery Costner, Hayes Logan Costner and Cayden Wyatt Costner © Gregg DeGuire
Kevin Costner, Christine Baumgartner and their children Grace Avery Costner, Hayes Logan Costner and Cayden Wyatt Costner

Healthcare costs for their three children, Cayden, 16; Hayes, 14; and Grace, 13, will be shared equally between the estranged couple as per the new arrangement. 

Similarly, their children's high-end private school fees and other extracurricular expenses will be split. This situation comes as a disappointment to Christine, who had earlier requested Kevin to shoulder these costs entirely.

The current figure for child support isn't conclusive, leaving both Kevin and Christine with the opportunity to challenge it in a future hearing. However, TMZ notes that such figures rarely deviate significantly from the initial determination.

Christine Baumgartner is seen on May 4, 2023 in Santa Barbara, California© MEGA
Christine Baumgartner is seen on May 4, 2023 in Santa Barbara, California

Further compounding Kevin's financial woes, the judge ordered an additional $200,000 payment towards Christine's attorney fees and another $100,000 for forensic costs. Payments are due on the first of every month, with Kevin set to be credited for payments made since the start of July.

Presiding over Kevin's case is renowned divorce attorney Laura Wasser. She's well known for inspiring Laura Dern's character in Noah Baumbach's critically acclaimed film, Marriage Story, which won Laura an Academy Award for best supporting actress.

Wasser has ardently defended the couple's prenuptial agreement in court. While its final validation won't be decided until a hearing in November, Christine is expected to continue challenging its legitimacy.

kevin costner christine baumgartner smiling red carpet© Getty
Kevin Costner Christine Baumgartner

 If the prenup is upheld, Christine could be compelled to return $1.5 million previously paid by Kevin and pay his attorneys' fees.

Despite Christine expressing her reluctance to vacate her home without a secure plan in place, particularly for the sake of her children, the judge's preliminary decision indicates that he might consider the rest of the prenuptial agreement valid.

RadarOnline reports that Kevin has deposited $1 million into Christine's account, fulfilling his obligation to assist her in relocating per their prenuptial agreement. 

Christine, however, hasn't touched the money, fearing that doing so could hamper her chances to contest the prenup's validity.

Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner© Getty Images
Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner

The latest ruling is favourable to Christine, according to trial attorney Holly Davis of Austin, Texas-based Kirker Davis LLP, who specializes in high-net-worth divorce cases. 

“This ruling is favorable to Christine. She did not get her over $240,000 a month child support figure, which was calculated by applying 60% to the parties’ monthly expenses. But it accounted for things like cosmetic surgery and personal trainers – things that are very difficult to justify as being related to the children,” she told HELLO!

“On the other hand, Kevin’s proposed offer of $30,000 to $50,000 a month was very small compared to his monthly income and the spending of his family pre-divorce. While $30,000 a month is a large amount to many families, the fact that Costner made $19 million last year, which breaks down to almost $1.6 million a month, means that Costner was offering to pay his children’s primary caregiver 2% of his monthly gross income, which isn’t a great look.  

“And while Costner may argue that he was offering to pay Christine $30,000 a month for child support and 100% of his children’s expenses each month, it’s unclear what expenses he would agree would be child-related or lifestyle related,” she continued.

Kevin Costner stars in the gripping Western

“Courts don’t look at child support requests in a vacuum or in isolation – they look to see how much the family spends on their lifestyle pre-divorce and what the monthly needs of the children are, and that includes real estate and household expenses that the primary parent can enjoy, too. 

“The judge in the Costner divorce believed Christine’s requests related to the needs of the children, and while the court may have given some weight to Costner’s forensic expert’s testimony which is why the court did not give Christine 100% of her monthly request, the court ultimately went Christine’s way on the monthly child support figure overall because it is so much higher than the figure Costner originally offered Christine. 

“If the parties were following sage legal advice, they would now take this very public feud private and resolve the remaining issues because the court has ruled on their hot button issues: Christine must vacate the house and Kevin must pay her $129,755 per month. The postnuptial agreement should account for the rest and the monthly child support number is more likely permanent than temporary and likely won’t be changed.” 

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