The divorce battle between the “Yellowstone” star Kevin Costner and his ex Christine Baumgartner, who he was married to for 18 years before they separated back in May, has just escalated once again, with a judge slamming her demand for more child support.
Kevin Costner's estranged wife Christine Baumgartner has moved into a $40,000-a-month, four-bedroom Montecito rental with pool and jacuzzi – but says it isn't good enough for her family pic.twitter.com/oQ8mtZkwv4
— News News News (@NewsNew97351204) September 4, 2023
Judge Shuts Baumgartner Down
Earlier this month, Judge Thomas Anderle ruled in Costner’s favor when he slashed his monthly child support payments down from $129,755 to $63,209. This was a brutal defeat for Baumgartner, who had been asking for the payments to be increased to $161,592 per month, but the judge went so far as to accuse her of trying to obtain “disguised spousal support.”
“Support greater than $63,209 per month is disguised spousal support,” Anderle wrote in court documents obtained by Fox News. “Christine will have her opportunity to convince the Court that she is entitled to spousal support.”
Costner and Baumgartner are the parents of three teenage children who range in age from 13-16.
Kevin Costner wins ugly child support battle with estranged wife Christine Baumgartner: Judge gives wife $63,000 for their three children. HALF of what she requested! pic.twitter.com/BQBS7DH8dN
— ᴼᴹᴳ ᶥᵗˢ Adàeze (@nubianbarbieeee) September 2, 2023
Anderle found Costner, 68, to be “credible” when he took the stand to testify during a recent two-day child support hearing, saying that he “did not find [Costner] embellished any of his testimony by relying on his profession; his testimony was straightforward; there was ‘no acting’; found his testimony to be credible and consistent.”
The judge found Baumgartner, 49, to be “credible” as well during her testimony, adding that he didn’t “perceive there was any intention by [Baumgartner] to mislead the Court.” However, he made a point of saying that her testimony was “not much help” when it comes specifically to the issue of child support.
Next time you complain about the cost of living, spare a thought for Christine Baumgartner after a judge slashed her child support payments to $63,000 per month – less than half of the $129,000 she currently gets and considerably less than the $161,000 she wanted. Kevin Costner… pic.twitter.com/WgQfz5B6s0
— Edward White (@Editorialz) September 2, 2023
Celebrity Attorney Weighs In
Celebrity lawyer Brett Ward, who is not involved in this case, believes that Baumgartner made a “mistake” in demanding such a high amount of money.
“I would never have challenged the $129,000 a month award and said it was insufficient,” said Ward, who is a partner and co-chair of the Matrimonial & Family Law Practice at Blank Rome. “That is more than . . . the vast majority of people make in a year. And she was getting it in a month. And to go to a court and say that was insufficient for a lifestyle I think was a mistake.“
Ward went on to say that he believes Judge Anderle’s ruling was a “warning sign” to Baumgartner as she prepares to challenge the validity of the premarital agreement in court in November.
“Probably won’t impact it too much, but to me, it was definitely a warning sign that greed isn’t going to be what controls here, that we’re going to apply some reason to this process,” he said. “And I do think that she walked out of that court weakened, and I would think twice about going too far with the arguments related to the prenuptial agreement.“
After the judge ruled in his favor, Costner said that there are no winners in this divorce battle.
“You know, when you have a life that long with somebody, there is no winner . . . and it’s this big, crazy thing called ‘life’ and how it unravels so quickly,” he said. “One minute’ you feel like you’re on top of the world, and then you realize how, you know, how vulnerable you are.”
“She’s an incredible mom,” he continued. “We will figure it out, and we’ll share. We’ve just got to kind of convalesce right now.”
It's day two of the custody battle between Kevin Costner and his ex-wife, Christine Baumgartner. The ex-couple is battling over Baumgartner's request for increased child support for their three children. pic.twitter.com/ijrjRS7XQs
— Inside Edition (@InsideEdition) September 1, 2023
Baumgartner Files For Divorce – ‘Yellowstone’ Ends
Costner was reportedly blindsided when Baumgartner filed for divorce on May 1.
“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,” Costner’s representative told People Magazine at the time. “We ask that his, Christine’s, and their children’s privacy be respected as they navigate this difficult time.”
Days later, Daily Mail reported that the end of “Yellowstone” was announced by Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios, who also revealed that a sequel series starring Matthew McConaughey will be replacing it.
“‘Yellowstone’ has been the cornerstone on which we have launched an entire universe of global hits — from ‘1883’ to ‘Tulsa King,’ and I am confident our sequel will be another big hit, thanks to the brilliant creative mind of Taylor Sheridan [the show’s creator] and our incredible casts who bring these shows to life,” McCarthy stated.
‘YELLOWSTONE’ will officially end with Season 5.
A sequel series will premiere in December, with Matthew McConaughey in talks to star. pic.twitter.com/Ie2iKpawId
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) May 5, 2023
This is clearly a very difficult time for Costner and his family. We can only hope that this divorce becomes more amicable in the months to come.
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