Judge Explains Decision to Side With Kevin Costner Over Child-Support Case

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By Black Widow

After a contentious child support battle between actor Kevin Costner and his estranged wife, Christine Baumgartner, the judge has released a 17-page summary of the case, shedding light on the reasons behind his decision to side with Costner.

This ruling resulted in a significant reduction in Costner’s monthly child support payments, dropping from $129,000 per month to $63,209. The couple shares three children: sons Cayden, Hayes, and daughter Grace.

Contentious Courtroom Battle

During the two-day court hearing, described as “contentious” and “acrimonious” by the judge, Baumgartner argued for an increase in the monthly child support payments to $161,000, aiming to maintain a “comparable lifestyle” for the children.

Christine Baumgartner

To bolster her case, she hired a forensic accountant who presented evidence that Costner’s monthly cash flow, including income from the TV series Yellowstone, justified the higher amount.

Judge’s Decision

However, Judge Thomas P. Anderle disagreed with Baumgartner’s request. He concluded that applying the formula to calculate child support payments would be “unjust and inappropriate” in this case.

Kevin Costner

The judge found both the forensic accountant and Baumgartner to be credible and possess good courtroom demeanor but was ultimately unconvinced by their arguments. Costner’s forensic accountant argued that the Yellowstone salary should not be factored into the child support calculation, as it was an unusually high-income level for Costner.

Costner’s Cash Flow Argument

Costner’s accountant presented evidence that, including Yellowstone income, Costner’s average monthly cash flow for the 30 months ending June 30, 2023, was $1,308,920 per month. Without Yellowstone income, this figure dropped to $468,136 per month. The judge found Costner’s theory and arguments to be “exceedingly convincing,” while Baumgartner’s theory, although not perceived as intellectually dishonest, was not persuasive.

Court’s Ruling

In the end, the court ordered Costner to pay $63,209 per month in child support, a significant reduction from the initial request. Costner is also responsible for various expenses, including health insurance, private school tuition, extracurricular activities, and more. The issue of attorney fees and costs will be settled at a later date.

While the child support dispute has been resolved for now, the court anticipates that the overall divorce case will be completed by December 2023. This marks the end of a contentious legal battle between Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner over financial support for their three children, with the judge ultimately siding with Costner’s arguments regarding his income and child support obligations.