Kevin Costner is taking steps to protect what he claims is his property as his estranged wife Christine Baumgartner prepares to move out.
According to new court documents, the California Superior Court judge presiding over the Costners’ divorce granted the 68-year-old Yellowstone star’s request for a motion that would block Christine, 49, from removing certain items from the Santa Barbara, California, home where they lived during their marriage.
“Christine shall be permitted to remove her toiletries, clothing, handbags and jewelry,” according to the Friday order signed by Judge Thomas Anderle. The former handbag designer is prohibited, however, from taking “any other items of property including, but not limited to, furniture, furnishings, appliances, and artwork.”
In documents filed by Kevin’s lawyers July 13, the actor asked the court to “prevent [Christine] from removing [Kevin’s] separate property from his home, and to insure an orderly process for the removal of her separate property (if any).”
Kevin alleged that under the terms of the premarital agreement they signed before marrying in 2004 there is “no community property.”
“[Christine’s] counsel has stated, in writing, that [Christine] ‘plans’ to remove many items which are not [her] separate property,” the documents stated.
“[Christine] refuses to sign a Stipulation that she will not do so unless and until there is a written agreement between the parties.”
Costner’s legal team said they asked Christine’s side to itemize the personal items she wished to take, and received a “hopelessly vague and ambiguous” list in response.
“For instance, Petitioner lists ‘Plates and bowls/ silverware’ without specifying which plates, which bowls and which silverware. She lists ‘Christine’s family heirlooms and/or gifts to her’ but does not specify which items she believes were gifted to her (as opposed to both parties or the children),” according to the document.
“She lists ‘Christine’s personal electronic’ but fails to specify what that means. Is a TV a ‘personal’ electronic? Is she referring to household computers? Which ones?” the document stated.
Some of the things on the list of items that Christine wants to take, including outdoor furniture, gym equipment and art are Kevin’s property, according to the document.
In an objection filed later that day, lawyers for Christine said there was “no emergency” and stated that their client “identified all of the items she plans to remove from the home via photos and written descriptions.”
The lawyers also objected to the claims from Kevin’s side that there is no community property: “Many of these items [in the home] were acquired during marriage and are presumptively community property.”
They continued that Kevin “complained that reference to ‘some pots and pans’ was so vague he was unable to consent to their removal. Apparently, Kevin was concerned Christine would take too many pots and pans – a complaint quite trivial given his 2022 income of about $24,000,000 and claimed net worth of about $200,000,000 (which we believe is understated).”
Despite Christine’s objection, Judge Anderle ruled in Kevin’s favor.
At a July 5 hearing related to the Costners’ divorce, Judge Anderle also ruled that Christine must vacate the Santa Barbara estate – worth an estimated $145 million – where she and Kevin raised their three children, sons Cayden, 16, and Hayes, 14, and daughter Grace, 13.
Under the terms of the couple’s prenuptial agreement, Christine had to move out of the property — which Costner bought in 1988 before he started dating Christine — within 30 days of filing for divorce. She filed a petition for the dissolution of marriage May 1, meaning the deadline has since passed.
But Christine has remained on the premises, claiming she could not move out until she had a child support agreement in place. She initially asked for $248,000 per month in order to set up what she called in court documents a “suitable separate household” for her children.
Anderle temporarily awarded Christine $129,755 per month in child support, an amount he extended at a Wednesday hearing on the matter.
The ruling, however, is retroactive, meaning that child support will have to be paid forward or back dating back to July 1 if changes are made in the final ruling of the case.
The decision left Christine feeling “relieved,” a source said, adding that she “only wants to take care of and support her children. The divorce is not their fault. She doesn’t want them to suffer, or experience negative life changes because of it.”
The Costners’ legal teams will be back in court on Aug. 2 for a hearing on the estranged couple’s prenuptial agreement. Kevin has asked the court that Christine pay $99,225 in legal fees he incurred for litigating their prenuptial agreement.
According to legal documents filed by the actor’s lawyers, Christine might also have to forfeit her $1.5 million divorce settlement for challenging the prenup.
“If Christine, in any manner, challenges or assists in the challenge of the validity or enforceability of any provision of this Agreement, she shall lose any and all rights to receive any payment, Property or Interest from Kevin pursuant to this Agreement,” according to the agreement, which attorneys for the Oscar winner quoted in legal documents filed June 28.
Marilyn Chinitz, a matrimonial attorney at Blank Rome in New York (she does not represent either of the Costners) said at the time that such clauses in prenuptial agreements are fairly routine.
“Attorneys call these provisions ‘in torrerem’ because it is a clause to instill fear. They are incentivizing someone from challenging the agreement.”
Continued Chinitz, “It’s basically saying, ‘If you’re going to challenge the agreement as being invalid and unenforceable, then anything that you may have benefited by, I have a right to claw back.’”
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