Kevin Costner’s two-month divorce from Christine Baumgartner has been public and acrimonious. First came reports that the two were “estranged,” then rumors that Costner and a tenant had a dispute. Court filings indicate Costner and Baumgartner’s bitter dispute is just beginning.
The couple’s home. In June, TMZ reported Baumgartner wouldn’t leave Costner’s $145 million California estate. Costner bought the property in 1988, 16 years before marrying Baumgartner, the Daily Mail reported. She had 30 days to leave Santa Barbara after filing for divorce on May 1, according to the prenup. According to court documents acquired by TMZ, Costner has offered Baumgartner $10,000 for moving costs and $30,000 a month for a rental property, in addition to the $1.45 million he has paid her under their prenup. Baumgartner refused.
Baumgartner said in court filings that Costner made the million-dollar payment without her consent or knowledge to “force my concession that the spousal support limitation is valid by virtue of my ‘acceptance’ of these funds.” Knowing she couldn’t afford the family’s lifestyle, the actor used “public attacks” to get her to leave.
Baumgartner’s lawyers filed a mid-June court brief denying Costner’s motion. “This RFO (request for order) seeks to kick Christine and their three children out of the house that the children have lived in their entire lives,” lawyers stated. Costner and Baumgarten want joint custody of their 12-, 14-, and 15-year-olds. Baumgartner’s lawyers said Santa Barbara’s high rentals took longer to find a home. ET reported on July 5 that a judge refused her petition and ordered her to leave by month’s end.
Baumgartner’s attorney said Costner’s estranged wife would leave by August 31 if they reached a child-support agreement. According to Insider, Costner’s July 5 $68,000 child support bid undercut their client. The actor’s July 12 request to settle child support before November’s hearing was denied. ET reported that the judge increased Costner’s child support order to $129,755 per month until the hearing. Retroactive payments begin July 1. Fox News received court documents showing Costner was forced to pay $200,000 in attorneys’ fees and $100,000 in forensic costs earlier this week. Baumgartner asked Costner to pay for the children’s private school, extracurriculars, and health care, according to People. The New York Post says the judge ordered the two to pay 50% of those charges.
After child support and a move-out deadline, the couple didn’t resolve the family home issue: One week later, Costner’s team filed new legal paperwork accusing Baumgartner of looting the estate and seizing assets Costner doesn’t believe are hers. Baumgartner claims his concerns that she will “strip the house bare” are unfounded because she submitted a PDF with photos to his lawyers listing the items she planned to remove—”family heirlooms, clothing, her Peloton bike, various keepsakes and gifts from friends,” according to ET, plus pots, pans, some office furniture, etc.—before packing them into a storage unit. Costner’s lawyers called her inventory “vague.” According to ET, Petitioner lists “Plates and bowls/silverware” without mentioning which ones. “She lists ‘Christine’s family heirlooms and/or gifts to her’ but does not specify which items she believes were gifted to her (versus both parties or the children).” On July 14, a judge limited her goods to clothing, jewelry, bags, and toiletries.
People reported that Costner was “surprised” but not “shocked” that Baumgartner filed for divorce, and a source told the magazine that Costner’s long filming absences likely impacted Baumgartner’s decision. Daniel Starr, the Costners’ $60,000-per-month guesthouse tenant, may have provoked the quarrel. According to “Page Six,” Costner battled Daniel Starr after discovering that Starr had grown close to Baumgartner while Costner was on an assignment. Starr told TMZ last week that he never slept with Baumgartner and doesn’t know why they split up. “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,” a representative told People.
In 1994, Costner gifted Cindy Silva $80 million, according to Insider. The New York Post reported that Costner valued having multiple houses. Costner may use his L.A. apartments and 160-acre Aspen ranch without Baumgartner.