Kevin Costner's estranged wife staying put for kids' sake – not money

EXCLUSIVE: ‘She’s no gold digger – this isn’t about money.’ Kevin Costner’s estranged wife Christine wants keep things normal for the kids, say friends, insisting he was never home anyway and he’s lashing out because she ended marriage

  • Under the terms of their prenup, signed in 2004, Christine Baumgartner was to leave the marital home she shared with Kevin Costner if they split 
  • But Christine  intends to stay put at the $145 million beachfront compound in Carpinteria, California for the sake of the children friends tell 
  •  In court papers seen by, Costner’s lawyers claim they have made ‘multiple offers’ to get his wife to move out of the former marital home 

Christine Baumgartner is digging in her heels and intends to stay put at the $145 million marital home she has shared with Kevin Costner – and it’s for the sake of the children, friends tell exclusively.

‘Christine is the one who turned the house into a home,’ says a friend of the couple. ‘She’s the one who has been living in the house with the kids all these years, and the kids don’t think she should leave either.’

Kevin is rarely ever home, the source said, which was one of the main reasons their relationship went sour.

‘His priority has been his work, and now all of a sudden the property is so important to him. He’s bitter and lashing out because Christine pulled the plug on the marriage.’

‘Christine said she’s being made out to be some gold digger, but for her this isn’t about money. It’s about keeping some sort of normalcy for the kids.

‘If anyone should find a new house, it should be Kevin. Christine is not about to budge, so Kevin should just give in and move on.’

Christine Baumgartner,  pictured leaving a Montecito, California bank last on Wednesday,  intends to stay put at the $145 million marital home. ‘Christine is the one who turned the house into a home,’ says a friend of the couple. ‘She’s the one who has been living in the house with the kids all these years, and the kids don’t think she should leave either’

The former couple was pictured with their three children in August of 2019 in LA

In court papers, Costner, who is worth $250 million, asserted that he has made ‘multiple offers’ to get his wife to move out of the former marital home – but has failed to reach agreement with Christine, 49, a model turned handbag designer, leaving him effectively ‘homeless.’

‘I was married once before and, upon separation, found myself without home base and unable to live in my own home,’ Costner declared.

‘I never wanted this to happen again.’

Under the terms of the prenup, signed in 2004, she was to leave his properties if they split and relocate, using a $1.2 million fund to find a new house.

But the well-being of Christine’s children far outweighs anything on a piece of paper, said the friend.

‘Kevin should be thinking of the kids instead of himself. She also said Kevin has plenty of other houses he can choose from to make his primary home.’

Costner alleges that Christine is in breach of their agreement – saying that he now wishes to move back into the huge house which they shared. She was spotted at the property this week.

Both have asked for joint physical and legal custody of children Cayden, 15, Hayes, 14, and Grace, 12.

The Oscar-winning actor said that under the terms of their prenuptial agreement, Christine had a 30-day period to move out of the house he owns following her May 1 divorce filing 

Property inspectors showd up at the house this week, possibly connected to the actor’s recent decision to mortgage a piece of his property to fund his upcoming film franchise Horizon

The lawyers said: ‘ What is happening now is exactly what he and Christine contracted to avoid in the event their marriage failed.

‘Christine has accepted the benefits of the PMA (pre marital agreement ) over the years, but now refuses to accept this one burden.’

Both sides seem to be preparing for a ‘War of the Roses’ style legal battle over their huge $145 million house in Carpinteria, California. It is owned solely by Costner and he bought it in 1988, long before their 2004 wedding.

Costner, who has been filming in Utah for the past few months, is complaining that he needs a home as he will be off location from early June.

Extraordinarily, he says that he was made homeless during his last divorce. The house next door, also owned by him, is used he says as a place to edit films.

He says that he funded Christine’s two ‘failed’ businesses both before and during the marriage and says that she was happy to benefit from the premarital agreement for years, but is now seeking to ditch it.

Costner alleges that following their separation she ‘charged $95,000’ to his credit card ‘without prior notice to me.’ That money was spent on lawyers and on a forensic accountant.

Meanwhile Costner claims she wants the world to see the financial details of the pre-nuptial agreement which they signed – but insists that this would put him under risk of ‘irreparable harm’ from fraudsters or burglars, and be likely to attract unwanted and embarrassing global media attention.

Christine filed for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences on May 1. 

She gave the date of separation as April 11. In his response Costner, 68, marks the date of separation as ‘TBD’ or ‘to be determined.’ 

They have children Cayden, 15, Hayes, 14, and Grace, 12. Both have asked for joint legal and physical custody of the children.

The ‘disso queen’ Laura Wasser is acting for Costner. In the initial response to the divorce filing she asked for the payment of spousal support ‘pursuant to the terms of the parties premarital agreement.’

On June 8, Christine’s side filed a restraining order against Costner which forbids him from taking the children out of the state and transferring or selling any property.

On June 9, Costner’s side filed a request for an order to kick Christine out of the house, a filing known as a ‘preliminary injunction prohibiting petitioner from occupancy.’

It also requests that the premarital agreement is sealed – which would ensure it is kept private – and asks that a court determine the validity of the premarital agreement separately to considering other matters in the divorce, in order to speed things up.

Kevin Costner’s divorce from estranged wife Christine Baumgartner (seen together in 2022) just got explosive, with his lawyer claiming in court documents that she has left him ‘homeless’

His lawyers complain that Christine’s actions in staying at the house are essentially holding him to ransom while they negotiate.

They say: ‘Christine has taken the position that she will not move out of Kevin’s separate property residence unless and until Kevin agrees to various financial demands. 

‘Christine’s agreement to move out was and is unconditional. Indeed, independent of the PMA [pre-marital agreement] she has no right to occupy Kevin’s separate property residence.

‘Nevertheless, Kevin has offered to assist her financially in moving out, he has already made a contribution to her attorney’s and accountant’s fees, he has already paid her the $1,000,000 due her under the terms of the PMA upon the filing of the Petition as part of the bargained for waiver of spousal support (in addition to a total of $200,000 he paid to her in the early years of the marriage pursuant to the PMA), he has already made a comprehensive temporary child support and fee proposal, he has agreed to and has maintained the financial status quo since the Petition was filed, continuing to pay all of the parties’ children’s expenses, and he is negotiating a summer visitation schedule for the parties’ three teenage children.

‘Kevin has acted in good faith and had done everything in his power to make the transition as seamless as possible. But Christine continues to refuse to vacate his separate property residence, as she agreed she would do in 2004 as a condition of marriage.’

Kevin alleges: ‘Thus, when Christine and began discussing marriage in 2003, made it clear to her that would not marry again without clarity that my separate property residences would remain mine to live in no matter what happened in our marriage’

In his declaration filed as part of the injunction Coster himself explains: ‘Because of the nature of my work, I am frequently out of town; it is therefore particularly important to me that when am I home, I have a home to go to.

‘Thus, when Christine and I began discussing marriage in 2003, I made it clear to her that I would not marry again without clarity that my separate property residences would remain mine to live in no matter what happened in our marriage.

‘Christine acknowledged to me at the time that she understood the importance of this to me and she agreed to this provision.’

He adds: ‘Our PMA provides, among other terms, that all of the assets we each owned prior to our marriage would remain our respective separate property. One such separate property asset of mine is my Separate Property Residence that Christine and I have used as our family home with our three children.

‘I purchased this property in 1988, long before my marriage to Christine. Adjacent to the Residence is separate residence that I use exclusively for business purposes (film editing) and which I will be working at this year in connection with a new film project recently completed filming that I am producing.

‘I also owned that separate adjacent residence at the time Christine and I married. Our PMA clearly provides in Paragraph 9.A. that (a) I shall have immediate and exclusive use of all of my separate real property and (b) that within 30 days of filing of Petition for dissolution of our marriage, Christine shall vacate any family residential property owned solely by me. This 30-day deadline expired on May 31, 2023.’

He goes on to say that he has discussed the agreement with his estranged wife and reminded her that she has to leave – both personally and via his lawyer Laura Wasser.

His statement sets out some of the details of their prenup, which saw Christine get $100,000 on their wedding day and a further $100,000 on their first wedding anniversary.

She was also given $1 million after filing for divorce, as stipulated in the pre-nup, in order to help her to find a home.

Under the terms of the pre-nup Costner has also agreed to hand over a further $200,000 as a ‘cash deposit’ for a new home, and he agrees to pay her mortgage and insurance costs for her first year in a new place.

His statement continues: ‘Since April 2023, Christine has withdrawn from my bank account and charged on my credit card a total of $95,000, payable to her divorce attorneys and forensic accountant. This was done without any prior notice to me.

‘I have continued to maintain the status quo and have continued to pay all of our children’s expenses. I have also made multiple offers of settlement which, unfortunately, have not been accepted.’

Staying put? Baumgartner was pictured leaving a Montecito, California Bank of America branch as news spread of the divorce-related dispute on Wednesday 

No more: The statement clarifies the position on Yellowstone. Costner had been in negotiations to return to film some episodes for the final series – but is no longer planning to do so

Homeless? Dunbar Ranch is named after Costner’s character in Dancing With Wolves, which earned him two Oscars. The $80 million estate has its own baseball field, caretakers on the site 24/7, private fishing lakes and a golf putting range

He adds that he is willing to contribute $30,000 a month for a rental house and $10,000 for moving costs ‘in order to move this matter forward.’

He adds that she can use the staff at the former marital home to help her with the move.

He is also willing to pay ‘directly 100% of certain child related costs, including private school tuition, books, fees and uniforms and school trips, children’s sports, camps and other agreed upon extracurricular activities, health insurance for the minor children, and unreimbursed medical expenses and therapy costs of the minor children’. 

He continues: ‘In addition, I am agreeable to paying an additional $38,000 per month to Christine as and for additional child support for all three children, which amount shall reduce per Code as each child ages out.’

Costner anticipates that the children will split their time 50/50 between himself and Christine. 

‘I believe Christine and I are in agreement that our three teenagers’ time will be shared equally between my residence and Christine’s,’ he states. 

‘I do not anticipate any material disputes between Christine and me regarding custody of our children. We have both requested joint legal and joint physical custody. Because the children will be spending at least half of their time at my home, they will not be disrupted by Christine’s imminent move. 

‘Christine and I have been working on a summer schedule to ensure that the children have smooth transition between our two homes.’

He adds: ‘Even when I am working I arrange to see the children frequently. I was in California for our son’s birthday in early May and the children visited me May 21-24 in Utah where I was filming. 

‘This month I will return to California to my Separate Property Residence and plan on staying here at least through the end of this year (except perhaps for any vacations). I am a very hands-on father. I drive our children to school, attend their events and am involved in their daily lives. I agree that, when I am on location filming, the children will spend more time with their mother. However, I do not anticipate that I will be on location for at least the rest of 2023.’ 

Instead he says he will be editing the Horizon films at his studio in Carpinteria.

The statement also clarifies the actor’s position on Yellowstone. Costner had been in negotiations to return to film some episodes for the final series – but is no longer planning to do so.

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