Kevin Costner is now one step ahead of his ex Christine amid their nasty divorce. A judge on Wednesday ordered the handbag designer to vacate the family compound near Santa Barbara, Calif., by the end of the month, a decision that a legal expert says has major implications for the coming.
“Kevin should be very pleased with the outcome of yesterday’s ruling. Most courts wouldn’t order a parent removed from a home that quickly,” divorce attorney Chris Melcher told Yahoo. Entertainment.
In his decision, the judge cited the couple’s prenuptial agreement that Christine (née Baumgartner) signed before their 2004 wedding in which she agreed to leave the house within a month of filing for divorce. She filed the case on May 1. Christine’s lawyers argued she needed more time to find accommodation for her and Kevin’s three children – Cayden, 16, Hayes, 14, and Grace, 13 – given the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.
“This judge is not joking and realized that the parties had already agreed that Christine would move out within 30 days of filing for divorce. Although Christine requested a move out date of August 31, the judge said her decision would stand, and she’s due out by July 31. Basically, what the judge said is a deal, it’s a deal,” Melcher continued. “Christine has enough money to rent a place and will receive substantial alimony to cover living expenses.”
According to the couple’s prenup — which the judge ordered Wednesday will be sealed amid the pending case, as the actor requested — Christine is entitled to a $1.4 million settlement. Kevin claimed in documents that he had already paid her $1 million, which is a lot of money to set up her new life. A November trial date is set regarding the validity and enforceability of the prenup, which Christine disputes, but it appears the judge finds the document binding.
“Kevin is likely to be emboldened by [Wednesday’s] decision, which makes it harder for the parties to settle out of court,” adds Melcher.
Reps for Kevin and Christine did not immediately respond to Yahoo’s request for comment.
The next hearing takes place on July 12 and concerns alimony.
“Kevin is offering $68,000 a month, plus tuition and extracurricular expenses. Christine wants $248,000 a month. Given the way things went yesterday, the judge is unlikely to side with the Christine’s side,” Melcher said.
Kevin claimed in court documents that he had paid all of the children’s expenses since Christine filed for divorce. The actor also alleged that Christine had access to a bank account worth over $1 million. Kevin cut Christine’s credit card because he claimed she charged over $100,000 for attorney and accounting fees without his permission or consent.
“Whether [Christine] claims the kids “need” a pair of shoes or want to go to McDonald’s and she can’t pay, one would imagine that the $1.5 million she has would cover the kids’ few expenses [that] are not directly paid by Mr. Costner until a child support order is issued,” wrote Laura Wasser, Kevin’s attorney, in documents seen by Yahoo.
There has been a lot of jostling on both sides over the past month.
Christine claimed the actor informed their children of the divorce during a 10-minute Zoom call. Kevin alleged his estranged wife spent $188,000 a month on plastic surgery last year and inflated the number she needed for child support for her own benefit. Find all the charges here.