The saga of the divorce of Kevin Costner, 68, from his second wife Christine Baumgartner, 49, continues – but lucky for Costner, he has come out on top so far.
Over the weekend, the Hollywood star scored a victory after the court ordered Baumgartner to leave the house where the two have lived with their children by the end of the month. Costner claimed that his wife refuses to leave, even though before they got married she signed a financial agreement in which it was stated that Costner's houses would remain in his possession, including the mansion in question, which he purchased in 1988 before their wedding and is currently valued at $145 million. According to the agreement, Baumgartner was supposed to vacate the house within a month of filing the divorce petition – that is, by the beginning of June.
Baumgartner, for her part, claimed that these things are not true and that she will leave the house - but not before August 31 and only as soon as an adequate child support agreement is signed for their three children, Kayden, 16, Hayes, 14, and Grace, 13.
At the end of the week, the court ruled in favor of Costner and ordered Baumgartner to leave the house by the end of the month. Her lawyers asked to allow her an extension until the end of August, arguing that she would not have enough time and money to find another place for her and their children to live, but the judge rejected the request. While Baumgartner was present in the courtroom, Costner joined via Zoom and did not speak during the hearing. After the ruling, his associates told the People website: "Kevin is happy that the judge ruled in his favor."
The battle over the house has indeed been concluded, but the divorce battle is far from over, and discussions continue regarding the alimony payments that Costner will pay. Baumgartner has demanded a monthly sum of $248,000 from him, so that she could provide their children with the lifestyle they were used to, but Costner claims that the amount is excessive. He initially wanted to pay $38,000 a month but later agreed to increase the amount to $51,940.
Baumgartner also has refused to accept the updated amount and claims that his offer is "completely inappropriate." She said in a court filing: "Apparently he expects his children to live below his financial means when they are with their mother – while he lives in a house worth $100 million dollars and spends $240,000 on himself every month, and the children are with him only 40% of the time. In his opinion, his wife and children need to live on only 20% of this amount."
She further claimed: "The children have the right to live in a house that is similar to one of the three multi-million dollar houses that make up the estate. I myself cannot provide them with the residence and lifestyle they are used to with the $51,000 that Kevin is offering to pay."
Apart from the dispute over alimony, Baumgartner is appealing the entire financial agreement and claims that it is illegal. A discussion on the issue is expected to take place only in November. Among other things, Costner committed in the agreement to pay Baumgartner $1.4 million dollars – an amount he claims he has already transferred to her.
And despite all the above, the two will soon be forced to cooperate as part of a large charity event that will be held in September at one of their homes, and will raise donations for the Santa Barbara County's first responders.
Baumgartner's associates told the Daily Mail website that, despite the divorce, she does not intend to cancel the event or withdraw from its organization.
"She works hard behind the scenes and offered great help in planning the event that will be held at their home. Christine is an important part of the community and has always been involved, whether helping at the schools or raising money for various charities, she does everything she can," the news site reported.