Christine Baumgartner demands Kevin Costner pay $800,000 legal fees

EXCLUSIVE: Christine Baumgartner vows to keep up legal battle against Kevin Costner after child support ruling – as they prepare to go head-to-head over her $800k fees

  • Kevin Costner’s estranged wife Christine Baumgartner slammed the court ruling that saw her child support payments reduced to $63,000, as a ‘complete joke’
  • An insider told Baumgartner is planning to keep up her fight against the actor, who she has accused of trying to create a ‘false narrative’ 
  • ‘Christine said [Costner and his lawyers] painted a picture of this shallow, greedy gold digger […] and is ripping her apart from her community,’ the source added

Kevin Costner’s estranged wife thinks the ruling that slashed her child support payments to $63,000-a-month is a ‘complete joke’ and has vowed to fight on ahead of a fresh court appearance over the pair’s combined legal bill of $1.5million on Wednesday.

Baumgartner, 49, and Costner, 68, are due in court to hear who will foot the bill for their attorney fees – with the mom-of-three asking the actor to pony up $575,000 to pay her lawyers and for another $280,000 to cover the costs of experts.

Costner, meanwhile, racked up a $664,000 tab through to the end of July, according to figures aired in court last week, but said he intends to pay his own fees.

Tomorrow’s appearance comes hot on the heels of a two-day evidentiary hearing over child support where Baumgartner asked for her monthly payments to be bumped up from the $129,000 she had been enjoying, to $161,000.

Kevin Costner’s estranged wife Christine Baumgartner has slammed last week’s court ruling that saw her child support payments reduced to $63,000, as a ‘complete joke’ previously revealed that Baumgartner, 49, moved into the luxury four-bedroom home on Friday – after a judge in Santa Barbara, California, slashed her child support payments

But in a shock twist, Judge Thomas Anderle slashed it to $63,000 – leaving the mom-of-three stunned, according to a close pal.

Speaking to, the source said: ‘Christine is shocked. She said even Kevin looked shocked. Everyone looked shocked.

‘To say Christine is disappointed is an understatement. She described the ruling is a complete joke.’

The friend added: ‘Christine said they (Kevin and his lawyers) painted the picture of this shallow, greedy gold-digger and that if Kevin could get past his anger and revenge, he would see how this is hurting their kids.

‘She said Kevin is ripping her apart from her community by making it impossible to live in the tight-knit neighborhood. 

‘Christine said this was never about beach views and Kevin knows this. He knows how much the community means to Christine, and that this is his way of punishing her.

‘Christine said the fight is far from over.’

In court, Baumgartner had argued that her new $40,000-a-month rental pad in Montecito was not good enough for her family – saying the children needed beach access to maintain their lifestyle while with her.

She also complained about the guest accommodation in her lavish new home and said her sons Cayden, 16, and Hayes, 14, would have to share a bathroom while daughter Grace, 13, ‘has to share a bathroom with the house’.

The mom-of-three had been enjoying a temporary monthly payment of $129,000 and had wanted it bumped to $161,000

Baumgartner and Costner have been slugging it out in court since May when she abruptly filed for divorce, leaving the actor ‘blindsided’

In July Baumgartner was court-ordered to vacate the former couple’s $145million lavish California mansion

During cross-examination, Baumgartner was grilled over whether she intends to get a job to pay for her lifestyle and was forced to admit that she has only got as far as ‘exploring’ the idea.

According to her friend, Baumgartner believes that was unfair – and says she already has full time employment as a mother to the couple’s three children.

The insider said: ‘Christine said Kevin is under the illusion that she wants a free ride out of their divorce, so she doesn’t have to work a day in her life.

‘However, he seems to have forgotten that she already has a full-time job, it’s called being a mother to their three children.

‘She said if anyone is playing games and making character attacks, it’s Kevin not her.’ The source added: ‘Christine said Kevin is upset because she’s happy and has moved on, all while he attempts to control the false narrative that she is shallow for wanting to keep the lifestyle she and her kids are already accustomed to.

‘Christine said being a full-time mother pales in comparison to being a famous actor.’

Baumgartner and Costner have been slugging it out in court since May when she abruptly filed for divorce, leaving the actor ‘blindsided’.

Since then, the pair have repeatedly clashed in court – largely over where the mom-of-three will live but also over their prenuptial agreement which gives Baumgartner a one-off lump sum of $1.5million and the first year of mortgage repayments on a property of her own worth up to $1million.

She is now fighting to have that voided, saying in court papers that she felt pressured into signing it shortly before the estranged couple married 18 years ago.

The mom-of-three said her new home doesn’t provide the same standard of living as the home she shared with Costner

The home does have a pool house which has guest accommodation inside but in court, Baumgartner complained that visitors ‘would have to come in [to the main house] to use the shower’

Baumgartner was seen driving into her new home following court decision on Friday evening. But when he was asked in court if he would switch homes with Baumgartner, he burst out laughing and quipped: ‘This is tricky!’

A trial and a ruling on the prenuptial agreement and potential alimony payments is due in November.

Baumgartner is asking Costner to pay her legal bills for that clash too with his attorney Laura Wasser telling court last week that the mom-of-three is ‘amassing a war chest to sue Kevin.’

Much of last week’s evidentiary hearing centered on ‘reasonable need’ with Wasser arguing that Baumgartner was overstating her children’s requirements.

Her lawyer John Rydell said Baumgartner needed the huge $161,000-a-month payment to rent a home on the same road as Costner, where rental values can be as much as $150,000-a-month.

He also said she needed to be able to rent a property equivalent to Costner’s 160,000-acre Aspen ranch and described how it boasts three houses, river frontage and toboggan runs lit up with baseball lights with music piped through speakers hidden in the trees.

Costner’s main home, in upscale Carpinteria, California, was more like an ‘experience’ than a home, she told court, with five lots inside the compound – one containing the main house, another a guest house and a third a house converted into an office.

One of the two empty lots contains a garden while the other is used by the children as a space to play and by the family as the setting for parties and Thanksgiving dinners.

Costner and Baumgartner pictured during their September 2004 wedding at his Aspen ranch

Costner’s lawyer accused Baumgartner of making ‘unreasonable’ financial demands 

Baumgartner’s lawyer spoke of the family’s lavish lifestyle when in Aspen, Colorado – describing how the ranch has sledding trails that light up at night and have music piped through the trees, as well as multiple canoes and fishing lakes

Baumgartner said the main house and the guesthouse have direct beach access, while the family home also has an infinity pool overlooking the Pacific and is decorated in California coastal style.

Her new property, which is just over three miles from her old home, has no sea views or beach access, and the driveway seen in photos obtained by opens out into a tree-lined lane.

Costner, who made two appearances on the stand, admitted he wouldn’t swap houses with his ex but said that is because his home of over 20 years is ‘where I raised my children. Their hands are in the stone.’

He also said his cash flow is uncertain now Yellowstone has come to an end, with much of his money tied up in four-part movie series Horizon.

The 68-year-old finished filming Horizon part two in Utah in June and said he hopes the first installment will be released by the end of this year.

The court also heard about Baumgartner’s spending, including an $18,000-a-month clothing bill and a $3,500-a-month beauty tab – both flagged up by Costner’s forensic accountant Tracy Katz.

Baumgartner also admitted to taking a gift of $20,000 in cash from family friend Josh Connor who she denied is her boyfriend while under oath and said she gave half of it to her mother who had been receiving monthly payments of $5,000 from Costner.

The other half has since been returned to Connor.

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