Kevin Costner’s Ex-Wife Laments Having To Go Back To School To Find A Job After Courts Slash Child Support

The end of the road has come for Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner’s 18-year marriage, and it’s getting messy. Costner and Baumgartner traded vows in an idyllic wedding on his Aspen, Colorado, ranch on Sept. 25, 2004. Kevin’s marriage to Baumgartner was his second. He first married Cindy Silva in 1978. They split in 1994. The two share three children together – Annie, born in 1984; Lily, born in 1986 and Joe Costner, born in 1988. Kevin also has a 27-year-old son, Liam Costner, from a previous relationship with Bridget Rooney.

After filing for divorce on May 1, 2023, Kevin and Baumgartner started on an emotional rollercoaster as they began to settle the terms of their split. Shortly after filing for divorce, Kevin sought joint custody of their three children – Grace, 13, Hayes, 14, and Cayden Costner, 16. Baumgartner also sought joint custody.

“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. We ask that his, Christine’s, and their children’s privacy be respected as they navigate this difficult time,” a representative of Kevin’s said in a statement.

The pair had an on-and-off relationship for years before tying the knot. The “JFK” star admitted that fear kept him from committing to Baumgartner.

“Fear kept me from marrying Christine. (She) wanted a child, but I was afraid I couldn’t be an effective father,” US Weekly reported Kevin as saying.

Keep reading to learn more about Kevin and Baumgartner’s divorce and how it has since been playing out for the both of them.

Kevin and Baumgartner had spent much of their married life living at their sprawling Colorado ranch. The couple had designed the Aspen, Colorado residence as a posh Rocky Mountain getaway. Dubbed “Dunbar Ranch,” the 160-acre property comprises three residential buildings, with the main compound spanning 5,800 square feet and boasting six bedrooms and six bathrooms. With the lake house and the river house, the total amount of livable space totaled 6,000 square feet that can house up to 34 guests.

In recent years, the “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” actor had frequently and publicly sung the praises of his wife.

“Our partnership has really come into focus about what we do for each other and how we deal with our family. … Our house is like a river: You’ve just got to get into the flow of it. And whatever you thought it was going to be, maybe it still can, but it’s going to have to work with what the day brings,” he told People Magazine in 2020.

In November 2022, he gushed about Baumgartner again to the same outlet.

“My wife does things that just completely… It just helps. The house is prettier because of her. Everything is warmer because of her. There’s these little things that she does and I think it’s the power of love, but that she makes her home that way,” he said.

He had also divulged his secret to keeping his marriage afloat to Parade in 2012 and said, “Maybe it’s the ability to say you’re sorry. I know that sounds so simple.” However, as many relationship guides and couples around the world know, often, saying sorry is often the hardest task.

Unfortunately, their marriage hit a snag, resulting in the subsequent divorce proceedings.

According to a TMZ report on May 2023, Baumgartner pulled the plug on her marriage to the famed actor. She filed for divorce on May 1, 2023, putting a pin on their 18-year marriage. The reason behind the couple’s split is not yet clear.

The same report from the outlet also revealed that a prenup existed before the marriage, as Baumgartner was reportedly not seeking any spousal support except for seeking joint custody of their children. Kevin has also filed a similar move.

However, a source told People Magazine that the divorce wasn’t Kevin’s idea as it “was not anything that he wanted or sought, and if he could change the situation, he would.” However, it was hinted by another source from the same publication that it seemed like the actor’s busy schedule was the thing that triggered Baumgartner.

“Christine wants them to spend family time at their Santa Barbara home. During filming, Kevin is not around very much. His absence has been very hard for her,” she explained. “Christine doesn’t want him to throw himself into another project. He has been obsessed with filming Horizon since last year. She wasn’t happy about it.”

Further drama ensued when TMZ obtained court documents stating that Baumgartner had 30 days to leave the house since filing a divorce.
Another People Magazine source revealed that Kevin had given Baumgartner more than what was required in their prenuptial agreement, as the actor was even willing to contribute to her estranged wife’s rental fees.

“This is all about Christine. Kevin has gone above and beyond in providing Christine the necessary means to find a suitable place for her to move,” a source close to Costner revealed to the publication.

On June 21, 2023, to look for a “suitable separate household” for their children, Baumgartner sought $248,000 in child support for all of their three children.

Per the filing, Baumgartner said that the figure “is less than the amount needed to maintain the children in their accustomed lifestyle,” and even asked for her husband to pay 100% of private-school tuition, extracurricular activities/sports, and health-care expenses. Kevin slammed the request at the time, calling it “inflated.”

Kevin had reportedly repeatedly requested Baumgartner vacate the Colorado property on a predetermined date. The actor’s legal team even had to seek the help of a judge to legally order Baumgartner to leave the premises.

On July 6, 2023, a judge ruled in favor of Kevin and ordered Baumgartner to leave the property before July 2023.

Meanwhile, a source close to Kevin revealed to People Magazine that he was “relieved” that his ex was finally ordered to leave the house. Since the order, another insider dished to the magazine that Baumgartner was also “relieved” and “happy” to move out.

“Christine hopes there will be less drama now,” the source claimed. “Kevin got what he wanted — she is out of the family house. Christine is relieved about it. She is happy to move on.”

Baumgartner has since relocated to a smaller house in the area which was then used as a “staff quarter.” The property was just a “temporary solution” as she was still looking for another house.

“She is staying in the area to not disrupt the kids’ lives. They will be back at school in the fall with their friends,” the insider revealed. “Christine is trying to keep everything as normal as possible. Her sole focus is the kids.”

More details concerning Kevin and Baumgartner’s situation have since come to light after they both appeared for court proceedings on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, 2023, to hash out certain legalities. According to People Magazine, both Kevin and Baumgartner looked pensive and emotional during the child support hearing in Santa Barbara as they each took turns explaining their next steps.

On the stand, Kevin said his “world’s been a little shook up” due to their breakup and that going forward, he planned to “take care of obligations that are already in place, I have a lot of responsibilities I have to take care of.” He added:

“I need to figure out how I’m going to spend more time with the children, walk them through this process. … I have a lot to contemplate — what I have to do versus what I want to do.”

As for Baumgartner, who has been living in a $40,000 rental since being ordered out of her former home, she revealed she was considering returning to school to obtain a college degree so that she could secure a job.

“I will look into the steps I need to take and any schooling I need to do, and I will enter the workforce,” the 49-year-old explained.

The court then ruled in Kevin’s favor and ordered him to pay $63,209 a month in child support as opposed to the $161,592 Baumgartner had initially sought.

Back in 1994, Kevin had reportedly paid out $80 million in settlement fees over his divorce from Silva, one of the highest sums at the time. However, the airtight prenup signed between Kevin and Baumgartner does not entitle her to any spousal support.

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