Kevin Costner and his ex-wife, Christine Baumgartner, appeared in a courthouse in Santa Barbara, California on Thursday (August 31) for a child support hearing nearly four months after Baumgartner filed for divorce – they were married for 18 years, but their relationship has grown stale in recent months.
In June, it was reported that Baumgartner was seeking nearly $250,000 in monthly child support for the three children they share – Cayden Wyatt, 16, Hayes Logan, 14, and Grace Avery, 13. The two clearly weren’t on the same page as Costner argued that she could manage with just over $50,000 per month.
Several weeks later, a judge ruled that Costner would pay $129,000 per month in child support – which Baumgartner has been receiving over the past few months. So, why were the couple in court, yet again, on Thursday? Well, let’s just say Baumgartner feels like she deserves more and she’s intent on getting it.
How much more, you ask? According to court documents, Christine Baumgartner is requesting a raise of nearly $46,000, bringing the total to $175,057 per month – though she later decreased her asking price to $161,592 per month during opening statements on Thursday. Still, that’s a $32,592 increase from before.
She arrived at that number after determining that Kevin Costner brought in nearly $19,248,467 per year (or $1,604,039 per month) since 2021. “Based on this cash ﬂow, and a 50/50 parenting timeshare, the guideline child support, which is presumptively correct under California law, is $175,057 per month.”
Her reasoning behind the requested increase is to ensure her children can ‘live a lifestyle relatively comparable to the one they enjoy when they are with their father.’ She argues that living a luxurious lifestyle is ‘in their DNA at this point’ and doesn’t want to rob her children of that luxurious ‘experience.’
She also referenced Costner’s Santa Barbara compound, where he and his family have enjoyed some fond memories through the years. Baumgartner was ordered to move out of the home, per the couple’s prenup that was signed when they married – she previously said she felt ‘pressured’ into signing it.
Kevin Costner is Also Being Asked to Pay Legal Fees
While Christine Baumgartner acknowledges that the $175,000 in child support payments wouldn’t be sufficient to replicate the lifestyle Kevin Costner has worked so hard to obtain, she does acknowledge that it would be sufficient ‘to allow her to provide a lifestyle for the children which is relatively comparable.’
Court documents also reveal that the financial requests don’t stop there. Referencing his $17,293,117 in cash equivalents as of June 30, Baumgartner believes her ex-husband not only has enough to pay the monthly child support, but also has ‘ample funds’ to pay ‘the attorneys’ fees and costs for both parties.’
The couple originally met on a golf course in 1990, but it took some time before they sparked a romantic relationship. They started dating in 1999, but a disagreement several years later led to their breakup. They quickly reconciled and decided to tie the knot on September 25, 2004 at Costner’s ranch in Aspen.
“My wife does things that just completely… It just helps. The house is prettier because of her. Everything is warmer because of her. There’s these little things that she does and I think it’s the power of love, but that she makes her home that way,” Costner said in November – his wife filed for divorce six months later.
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