Christine Baumgartner is asking estranged husband Kevin Costner for nearly $200,000 a month in child support, but she says that amount is necessary for their kids to maintain the same standard of living when they’re with her.
“The Court is required to set child support at a level that, when the children are with Christine, they live a lifestyle relatively comparable to the one they enjoy when they are with their father,” Baumgartner’s legal team wrote in a brief filed ahead of the duo’s Thursday, August 31, hearing. “The Court order must allow the children to be supported at a level commensurate with Kevin’s considerable wealth, even if that level of support also improves the standard of living of Christine.”
Baumgartner’s lawyers went on to argue that the duo’s three children — Cayden, 16, Hayes, 14, and Grace, 13 — should live in a “comparable house” to their father’s when they are spending time with their mother. According to court documents obtained by Us Weekly, Costner’s “compound” has a “fair market value of $65 million to $95 million and a monthly rental value of at least $150,000.”
Baumgartner, 49, also asserted that the kids should be able to enjoy the same kinds of vacations with their mom that they have thus far experienced with their dad.
“Because the children fly on private aircraft to go on luxury vacations when they are with their father, the Family Code dictates that Kevin should pay sufficient child support to Christine so that the children can go on comparable vacations when they are with her. This is true even if the child support payments also improve Christine’s lifestyle,” Baumgartner’s lawyers claimed. “In this case, the guideline child support requested by Christine of $175,057 per month will not be sufficient to replicate Kevin’s lifestyle, but it will be sufficient to allow her to provide a lifestyle for the children which is relatively comparable.”
Baumgartner filed for divorce from Costner, 68, in May after 18 years of marriage. The twosome have since been locked in a messy back-and-forth over property, expenses, and child support payments. The Wednesday hearing — which is set to continue on Friday, September 1 — will determine the amount of child support Costner will provide.
An interim ruling in July ordered Costner to pay Baumgartner $129,755 per month for their children’s care in addition to $200,000 in attorneys’ fees and $100,000 in forensic costs. Baumgartner had previously requested $248,000 a month in child support, but Costner countered in his response that he could not afford that amount because his 2023 income will diminish following his departure from Yellowstone.
In the brief, however, Baumgartner’s attorneys argued that Costner will still receive income from Yellowstone because he is “entitled to a percentage of profit participation” from the show “irrespective of his 13 participation in Season 6 or beyond.”
“Kevin will argue that Christine doesn’t need to provide the children with many of the things to which they have become accustomed, as they can enjoy those things with Kevin. But Kevin’s argument misses the point,” Baumgartner’s legal team continued. “The children should be able to participate in their activities with each of their parents. Under Kevin’s argument, the children will either have to sacrifice some of their activities when they are with Christine or choose to forfeit their time with their mother in order to do so. Indeed, Kevin’s position is punitive, manipulative and contrary to the children’s best interests and the policy of the law.”