Kevin Costner now has a leg up on his ex Christine amid their nasty divorce. On Wednesday, a judge ordered the handbag designer must vacate the family compound near Santa Barbara, Calif. by the end of the month, a ruling one legal expert believes has major implications for what’s to come.
“Kevin should be very pleased with the outcome of yesterday’s ruling. Most courts would not order the removal of a parent from a home so quickly,” celebrity divorce attorney, Chris Melcher, tells 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 she’d leave the home within a month of filing for divorce. She filed on May 1. Christine’s attorneys argued she needed more time to find housing for her and Kevin’s three children — Cayden, 16, Hayes, 14, and Grace, 13 — given the lifestyle to which they’ve grown accustom.
“This judge does not mess around and realized that the parties had already agreed that Christine would move out within 30 days of either one filing for divorce. Although Christine asked for an August 31, move out date, the judge said his ruling will stand, and she must be out by July 31. Basically what the judge said is a deal is a deal,” continues Melcher. “Christine has sufficient money to rent a place and will receive substantial child support to cover her living expenses.”
According to the couple’s prenup — which the judge ordered on Wednesday will be sealed amid the ongoing case, as the actor requested — Christine is entitled to a settlement of $1.4 million. Kevin claimed in documents he already paid her $1 million, which is plenty of money to set up her new life. A November trial date is set regarding the validity and enforceability of the prenup, which Christine contests, but it seems the judge finds the document to be binding.
“Kevin is likely to be emboldened by [Wednesday’s] decision, making it more difficult 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 child support.
“Kevin is proposing $68,000 a month, plus tuition and extracurricular expenses. Christine wants $248,000 per month. Based on how things went yesterday, it is unlikely the judge will side with Christine,” says Melcher.
Kevin claimed in court documents he’s paid all of the children’s expenses since Christine filed for divorce. The actor also alleged that Christine has access to a bank account worth more than $1 million. Kevin reduced Christine’s credit card as he claimed she’s charged over $100,000 for attorney and accounting fees without his authorization or consent.
“If [Christine] claims the children ‘need’ a pair of shoes or want to go to McDonald’s and she somehow cannot pay, one would imagine that the $1.5 million at her disposal would cover the few expenses of the children [that] are not directly paid by Mr. Costner until a support order is entered,” Kevin’s powerhouse attorney, Laura Wasser, wrote in documents viewed by Yahoo.
There’s been plenty of mud slinging by both sides in the past month.
Christine claimed the actor informed their children about the divorce over a 10-minute Zoom call. Kevin alleged his estranged wife spent $188,000 a month on plastic surgery last year and is inflating the number she needs for child support for her own benefit. Catch up on all the accusations here.
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