‘Outrageous’: Kevin Costner’s ex demands he pay $855,000 for court fight she could lose

Christine Baumgartner wants Costner to pay the nearly $900,000 she says her lawyers need to challenge the prenuptial agreement she signed before they married in 2004

Christine Baumgartner, Kevin Costner’s estranged wife, is said to be unable to quit while she is ahead.

Baumgartner continues to lose key court rulings in her highly contentious divorce from the wealthy and powerful movie star, but she appears determined to fight a provision in their prenuptial agreement, which she signed before marrying him in 2004. More “outrageous,” according to Costner’s lawyer: According to TMZ, Baumgartner wants him to pay the $855,000 she claims her lawyers need to pursue this risky legal gambit.

Laura Wasser, Costner’s high-profile divorce lawyer, questioned in court documents whether Baumgartner’s legal team would even need close to $1 million to challenge the prenuptial agreement, according to TMZ. To justify the fee, her attorneys would have to work more than 1,100 billable hours. Costner has already paid Baumgartner $300,000 in legal fees, according to Wasser, and she allegedly took another $105,000 from his accounts to pay her lawyers.

Another reason Baumgartner’s $855,000 demand is “nothing short of outrageous,” according to Wasser, is that her challenge will almost certainly fail, according to TMZ. The judge presiding over the case in Santa Barbara County Superior Court has already stated that the prenup is enforceable. Baumgartner’s challenge is set to be heard in November.

Baumgartner is expected to receive $1.5 million from the “Yellowstone” star under the terms of the prenup. However, according to reports, these terms also state that Baumgartner forfeits this settlement if she challenges any provision of the prenup. She could also use a significant portion of her settlement to pay her lawyers if the court rules that Costner is not required to pay any of her court costs.

“It’s a very dangerous game she’s playing,” Christopher Melcher, a family law attorney in Los Angeles, told this news organization in July. Melcher, who has worked with a number of high-profile clients, has stated that her legal challenges could “financially wipe her out.”

“She has a lot more to lose here than he does,” Melcher pointed out. “However this turns out, Kevin will always be rich, and he’ll be fine.”

In several key rulings, Judge Thomas Anderle has already sided with the actor and director.

Anderle determined that the prenuptial agreement was enforceable when it came to the provision requiring Baumgartner to leave the family home in the event of a divorce. After filing for divorce on May 1 after 18 years of marriage, Baumgartner seemed determined to stay in their $145 million oceanfront estate near Santa Barbara with their three children. Cayden, 15, Logan, 14, and Grace, 12, are sons.

But Anderle ordered Baumgartner to vacate the house by the end of July. She has since moved into a four-bedroom home in Montecito that rents for $40,000 per month and includes a pool, hot tub, and one acre of gardens, according to Us Weekly.

Insider reported that a two-day evidentiary hearing ended with Anderle rejecting Baumgartner’s initial request for $248,000 per month in child support.

According to reports, Baumgartner stated that this staggering sum was required so that their children could enjoy a “comparable” lifestyle with her as they do with their father, who she claims has a net worth of $400 million. At the hearing, Baumgartner’s attorney, John Rydell, also stated that the three children’s luxury, oceanside lifestyle at the family’s Santa Barbara compound was “in their DNA.” But, on the stand, Costner retorted that he was concerned that his estranged wife’s financial demands were more concerned with “the needs of my children” than “the needs of Christine.”

After initially ordering Costner to pay $129,755 in child support per month, Anderle reduced the amount to $63,000 per month. According to reports, Costner said that amount was “appropriate,” and Anderle agreed.

Furthermore, court documents filed on Monday show that Costner initially offered Baumgartner $75,000 per month in child support to counter his soon-to-be ex-wife’s “unrealistic and frankly outrageous” settlement requests, according to Insider.

“In fact, on June 30, 2023, Kevin offered to pay Christine $75,000 per month in support in addition to paying 100% of the children’s unreimbursed medical, extracurricular, and school expenses,” Insider reported, citing a brief filed by Costner’s team.”But Christine would have none of it.”

As a result, Baumgartner received $11,791 less in child support per month than she could have.

In another pivotal decision, Anderle ordered Baumgartner to pay Costner’s lawyers $14,000 in fees for some of the work they’ve done as she challenges the prenuptial agreement, according to People. These expenses, according to Anderle, were incurred while the attorneys sought clarification on her interpretation of their prenuptial agreement.

Anderle emphasized the significance of this decision, calling it a “case of consequence,” according to People.

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