Kevin Costner isn’t having his best day. Hours after the Yellowstone star was conspicuously absent from this year’s list of Emmy nominees, it was stipulated that he would pay more than $129,000 a month in child support to his estranged wife, Christine. The judge in their divorce case has officially ruled, Yahoo Entertainment confirmed during a hearing on Wednesday afternoon. The hefty amount is less than the nearly $250,000 a month the former handbag designer was looking for, but more than what the actor wanted to pay.
A hearing will be held to determine how much alimony Christine (née Baumgartner) actually needs to care for her and Kevin’s three children — Cayden, 16, Logan, 14, and Grace, 13. According to a courtroom source, the team said from Kevin they need two days to prove what is needed financially, while Christine’s lawyer said they need four days. The judge has no room in his schedule for a hearing of that length this year, so a date has yet to be set.
There’s a hearing on August 3 regarding attorneys’ fees. Kevin wants to get back $99,225 he made in enforcing the prenuptial agreement that required Christine to leave home, according to documents obtained by Yahoo. Last week, a judge sided with the actor that Christine had to vacate their beachfront property in Santa Barbara, California, since the prenuptial agreement she signed in 2004 clearly stated she would leave within 30 days of filing for divorce. . Christine filed on May 1, but her lawyers tried to argue that she didn’t have the funds to secure a new place to live in the high-priced area.
Christine’s $129,000 amount is not guaranteed
The Yahoo source notes that the judge has reserved the power to retroactively reduce child support if it later determines that the amount is higher than necessary. Christine is entitled to a monthly allowance that will allow the children to have the same standard of living when under her care as they had with their famous father. But if the judge finds that $129,000 is too much, Christine will have to repay the excess to Kevin.
“The amount of child support is obscene, but the court had to use a formula to determine child support based on Kevin’s income until it had time to hold a hearing on the children’s actual needs. Because it Kevin’s income of about $2 million a month gave the guideline formula tremendous support,” Chris Melcher, celebrity divorce attorney, explains to Yahoo.
It’s in Christine’s best interest to delay the proceedings
Kevin only has to pay child support until the kids are 18 – which is probably why Christine is trying to get as much money out of the actor as possible by challenging the limitation on spousal support assigned in their prenup.
“Under their premarital agreement, Christine agreed to accept $1 million if they split up in lieu of any spousal support. Kevin sent her the check, but she refuses to cash it,” notes Melcher.
“It’s a dangerous game for Christine to challenge the premarital agreement because she will be responsible for Kevin’s attorney fees if she loses,” he continued. “If Kevin prevails and gets attorney’s fees, it could offset the million dollars she gets under the prenuptial agreement, which may leave her with nothing.”
Can Kevin and Christine still reach an amicable settlement?
The past two months have been messy, there’s no doubt about that, and there’s no sign that the two sides will come to an agreement.
“The time to reach a settlement was before Christine went to court. By making her allegations in public court documents, it took away her leverage to reach a silent settlement,” the veteran attorney shares. “Christine overplayed her hand by taking such an aggressive position. She needs to come to the table and make a deal.”