Kevin Costner isn't having the best day. Hours after the Yellowstone star was noticeably absent from this year's list of Emmy nominees, it was determined he will fork over $129,000 per month in child support to his estranged wife, Christine. The judge in their divorce case made his ruling official, Yahoo Entertainment has confirmed, during a hearing on Wednesday afternoon. The hefty sum is less than the nearly $250,000 a month the former handbag designer was seeking, but more than what the actor wanted to pay.
A hearing will be held to determine how much child support Christine (née Baumgartner) actually needs to take care of her and Kevin's three children — Cayden, 16, Logan, 14, and Grace, 13. According to a courtroom source, Kevin's team said they need two days to prove what's financially necessary, while Christine's attorney stated they need four days. The judge has no space on his calendar this year for a hearing of that length, so a date has yet to be set.
There is an Aug. 3 hearing on the books regarding attorneys fees. Kevin is looking to recoup $99,225 incurred in enforcing the provision of the prenup that required Christine to move out of the house, according to documents obtained by Yahoo. Last week, a judge sided with the actor that Christine must vacate their beachfront compound in Santa Barbara, Calif., as the prenup she signed in 2004 clearly stated she'd leave within 30 days of filing for divorce. Christine filed on May 1, but her lawyers tried to argue she didn't have the means to secure a new place to live in the expensive area.
Christine's $129K figure isn't guaranteed
Yahoo's source notes that the judge reserved the power to retroactively reduce child support if he later determines the amount exceeds what is necessary. Christine is entitled to receive a monthly amount that will allow the kids the same standard of living when they are in her care versus with their famous dad. But if the judge finds $129,000 is too high, Christine will have to pay the excess back to Kevin.
"The amount of child support is obscene, but the court was required to use a formula to set child support based on Kevin's income until it has time to hold a hearing on the actual needs of the children. Because Kevin's income is approximately $2 million a month, the guideline formula produced an enormous amount of support," celebrity divorce attorney Chris Melcher explains to Yahoo.
It's in Christine's interest to slow play proceedings
Kevin is only required to pay child support until the kids are 18 — which is likely why Christine is trying to get as much money out of the actor as possible by challenging the limitation on spousal support allocated in their prenup.
"Per their premarital agreement, Christine agreed to accept $1 million if they broke up in lieu of any spousal support. Kevin has sent her the check, but she refuses to cash it," Melcher notes.
"It is a dangerous game for Christine to challenge the premarital agreement because she will be responsible for Kevin's attorney fees if she loses," he continues. "If Kevin prevails and is awarded attorney fees, it could offset the million dollars she gets under the prenup— potentially leaving her with nothing."
Can Kevin and Christine still settle out of court?
The last two months have been messy, there's no doubt about that, and there's no sign the two sides will come to an agreement.
"The time to settle was before Christine went to court. By making her allegations in public court documents, it took away her leverage to reach a quiet settlement," the veteran attorney shares. "Christine overplayed her hand by taking such an aggressive position. She needs to come to the table and make a deal."