The once fairytale romance between Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner has devolved into a contentious legal battle as their divorce proceedings continue. Costner steadfastly stands by their prenuptial agreement, while Baumgartner aims to increase her child support payments.
Baumgartner’s legal team demanded Costner turn over any receipts related to extramarital affairs. His lawyers fired back calling it harassment and irrelevant. Costner swore under oath he never strayed during their 18-year marriage. However, he admits he cannot confirm whether Baumgartner herself engaged in any affairs.
This seems to be just another chess move in the couple’s high-stakes divorce. Baumgartner wants over $175,000 per month in child support for their three children together. Her lawyers allege Costner is obscuring the full extent of his vast wealth and properties. They claim he is so rich that he doesn’t even know the value of his real estate portfolio or who is on his payroll. Yet supposedly he wants to slash his support payments by a drastic 65 percent down to just $60,000 a month.
Baumgartner has accused Costner of “stonewalling” the proceedings by not providing complete financial records as requested. She is now seeking nearly $1 million more to cover her attorney fees and expert costs. Her team argues the “Yellowstone” star can easily afford to pay this amount without any real impact on his lifestyle.
Costner currently pays half of their kids’ private school tuition, medical expenses, and extracurricular activities per an interim court order. But Baumgartner contends this doesn’t come close to reflecting his actual income and wealth. She wants the monthly amount raised retroactively dating back to July 1st.
At the heart of their legal battle is the validity of the prenuptial agreement Costner insists Baumgartner signed. Their upcoming November divorce trial will determine if it holds up. The prenup supposedly stipulated Baumgartner must move out of Costner’s lavish $145 million oceanfront compound within 30 days of divorce.
Costner claims he purchased the Carpinteria property long before their marriage. Baumgartner has accused him of pushing her and their kids out with callous haste. Nonetheless, she did vacate the mansion by the July 31st deadline per his lawyers’ demands.
The prenup also allegedly forbade Baumgartner from living in any of Costner’s other homes following a split. She is currently staying in a short-term vacation rental before moving into a month-to-month lease in Montecito.
In another shocking allegation, Costner says Baumgartner charged over $100,000 unauthorized on his credit card since April. As a result, he cancelled her companion card and restricted her to only $15,000 a month for child emergency expenses.
Costner believes she took advantage of the card, seeing it as free reign with his money. But Baumgartner may view the restriction as petty given the actor’s great wealth. She seems intent on maximizing her child support payments to maintain her and their kids’ lavish lifestyle.
The dissolution of their marriage appears bitter after nearly two decades together. Costner shows no signs of backing down on the prenup terms. He wants Baumgartner completely removed from his homes and limited on funds.
Meanwhile, Baumgartner is digging in her heels on increased child support. She alleges Costner can easily afford six-figures a month and her hefty lawyer bills too. Their once fairy tale life has crumbled into an ugly financial and legal feud.
In the end, it’s the children who may suffer most. Being stuck in the middle of warring parents who used to love each other can cause lasting trauma. One can only hope Costner and Baumgartner find a way to diplomatically co-parent without using their kids as pawns.
For now, the exes seem headed for an contentious courtroom showdown. Costner appears rigid on adhering to the prenup, while Baumgartner wants to rip it up. Her lawyers are painting him as an out-of-touch millionaire who should share his wealth. It’s a sad outcome for a couple who had it all, but divorce can bring out the worst in people.