Friends of Kevin Costner’s estranged wife Christine Baumgartner resist the idea that she’s “a gold digger” who’s trying to milk the star for more money by refusing to leave their $145 million family home — as he says she should under the terms of their prenuptial agreement.
Instead, the handbag designer is staying put in the house to provide “some normalcy” for the children, as their parents go through a painful split after 18 years of marriage. a friend of the couple has told The Daily Mail.
The friend portrays Baumgartner as the primary caregiver of their three children, ages 16, 14 and 13, and said she’s made the oceanside estate near Santa Barbara “into a home” for them, the friend said. Meanwhile, Costner is often gone for months at a time, working on film or TV projects, leaving her and the children to occupy the house on their own.
“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 friend told the Daily Mail. “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,” the friend continued. “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.”
The divorce of Costner and Baumgartner is turning ugly, with the 68-year-old “Yellowstone” actor filing court documents this week arguing that his estranged wife should honor the terms of their prenuptial agreement and leave the family home. Signed before their 2004 marriage, the agreement states that she has 30 days to pack up her belongings and vacate it in the event of a divorce. This property and two others are in Costner’s name.
In court papers, Costner said he has made “multiple offers” to get Baumgartner to move out, but the couple has failed to reach an agreement, the Daily Mail reported.
Baumgartner, 49, filed for divorce on May 1 after 18 years of marriage — a move that is said to have “blindsided” Costner because he thought they were “super happy” together. A source told Us Weekly last month that going through a divorce when he still has children at home was Costner’s “worst nightmare.”
Costner and Baumgartner share three children — sons Cayden, 16, and Hayes, 14, and daughter Grace, 13. The children, of course, were born after their mother signed the prenup, which, among other things, dealt with her living arrangements in the event of a divorce.
Costner, who is worth $250 million, said he has been effectively left homeless since their separation, which took place in mid-April, according to the Daily Mail.
“I was married once before and, upon separation, found myself without home base and unable to live in my own home,” Costner said in his declaration. “I never wanted this to happen again.” Costner is referring to his 1994 divorce from his first wife, college sweetheart Cindy Silva, which cost the actor a record-setting $80 million. Costner also divorced Silva when they still had young children at home.
When Costner and Baumgartner began discussing marriage in 2003, he said he it made it clear he wouldn’t marry again unless she agreed that the property in his name would remain his — “no matter what happened in our marriage,” the Daily Mail reported.
Costner in his court papers he has offered Baumgartner $1.2 million to re-locate to a new home and will contribute $30,000 a month for rent, the Daily Mail reported. He also expects they will share custody and their teenagers will spend half their time in his home and the other half at their mother’s new house. With this arrangement, he doesn’t expect that their lives will be disrupted. He also described himself as a very “hands-on” father who drives his children to school and is involved in their daily lives.
“Christine and I have been working on a summer schedule to ensure that the children have a smooth transition between our two homes,” Costner said in court papers.
Costner said he arranges to see his children “frequently” while working, saying he was in California for their son’s birthday in early May, and the children visited him in Utah for several days in May while he was filming, the Daily Mail reported. He acknowledged, though, that his children spend more time with their mother when he’s on location. He also said he didn’t anticipate being on location for at least the rest of 2023,” Costner said.
Costner furthermore said he was willing to pay 100% of certain child-related costs, including private school tuition, health insurance and fees for school trips, children’s sports, camps and other agreed-upon extracurricular activities.
But Baumgartner’s friend suggested to Daily Mail that it would disrupt the children’s lives greatly if she had to leave the family home. The well-being of the children should outweigh anything that Baumgarntner signed long before they were born, and Costner owns two other homes, so he shouldn’t worry about being homeless, the friend also said.
“Kevin should be thinking of the kids instead of himself,” the friend told the Daily Mail
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