In a high-profile legal proceeding that has captured the attention of media and fans alike, acclaimed actor Kevin Costner appeared at a court hearing on Thursday to respond to his estranged wife's request for child support modification.
Christine Baumgartner, Costner's former spouse, had moved out of their shared residence on a sprawling Santa Barbara compound back in July, marking a significant development in their ongoing divorce. Amidst a lunch break outside the Santa Barbara court, onlookers spotted Kevin Costner accompanied by his legal team, which notably included the prominent attorney Laura Wasser.
Meanwhile, representing Christine Baumgartner was her attorney, John Rydell, who presented a revised child support request during the hearing. Rydell opened the proceedings by announcing a reduced child support amount of $161,592 per month.
This adjustment was based on the latest assessment from a forensic accountant. In response, Costner's legal representatives suggested a monthly support figure of $60,000. Notably, Christine currently receives $129,000 per month in child support for the care of their three children: Cayden, 16, Hayes, 14, and Grace, 13.
The couple's divorce was finalized in May, concluding an 18-year marriage.
Child Support Lawsuit: Christine Seeks $175,057
Legal documents obtained by People magazine on August 26 revealed that Christine Baumgartner had filed a lawsuit against the 68-year-old actor, seeking $175,057 in monthly child support.
The documents cited forensic analysis indicating Costner's average annual cash flow of $19,248,467 for 2021 and 2022, equating to $1,604,039 per month. These figures were central to the argument that the guideline child support, per California law, should be the aforementioned sum.
The court records also highlighted Christine's desire to maintain a lifestyle for her children that aligns with the affluence facilitated by Costner's earnings. She emphasized that their children had grown accustomed to a particular standard of living and environment that included a luxurious Santa Barbara compound replete with amenities such as a volleyball court, infinity pool, and guest houses.
Christine passionately expressed that the ocean is an integral part of their children's lives, and any disruption in their financial stability could impact their connection to their cherished surroundings. Having moved out of the family's primary residence in July, she initially resided in a smaller property on the compound as per the terms of their prenuptial agreement.
Subsequently, she relocated to a nearby rented home for $40,000 per month. The court hearing shed light on the complex interplay between financial considerations and the well-being of the couple's children. As the legal proceedings continue, observers are left to contemplate the lasting implications of this legal battle on the lives of Kevin Costner, Christine Baumgartner, and their children.
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