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Kevin Costner says there are ‘no winners’ in fierce child support battle with ex wife

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Kevin Costner has said that there have been “no winners” in his child support battle with his estranged wife Christine Baumgartner.

The Yellowstone actor, who has been engaged in an ongoing divorce settlement since May, reportedly came away from the court proceedings paying significantly less in child support than Baumgartner had wanted.

People reports that the judge’s verdict reduced her payments to $63,000 per month, which is almost half of the $129,000 she currently receives and significantly less than the $161,592 she had initially asked for.

The judgement concluded after a two-day hearing in Santa Barbara, which saw both sides outline what they believe to be a “reasonable” amount of child support for their three teenage children.

The verdict may be regarded as a win for Costner, but the actor told Fox News Digital in a statement that there were “no winners” in such a case.

“You know, when you have a life that long with somebody, there is no winner…and it’s this big, crazy thing called life and how it unravels so quickly,” he explained.

“One minute you feel like you’re on top of the world, and then you realise how, you know, how vulnerable you are.”

He said that he and Baumgartner would eventually work out a fair custody arrangement, and praised her as a mother.

“She’s an incredible mom,” he said. “We will figure it out and we’ll share. We just got to kind of convalesce right now.”

Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner photographed in 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)

Costner testified during the hearing that his world had been “shook up” by the divorce and that he had experienced “seismic change”.

“There’s a few responsibilities I can’t run away from,” he explained. “Mostly what I have to do is figure out how to spend more time with the children and help walk them through this… spend a little time with myself.”

Costner explained to the court why the couple created a prenup in the first place, saying he didn’t want to be “destructed”.

“The last thing I wanted was to not be able to come home to my home with my children. We did a prenup,” he explained.

“My biggest concern now is that the court orders me to pay child support so much so that… I run out of cash.”

The actor’s legal team claimed last month that Baumgartner had avoided answering whether or not she understood the premarital agreement before she signed it, and branded her legal strategy “gamesmanship of the worst sort”.

Gamesmanship in a lawsuit refers to the aim of creating additional expense or stress for the other party in order to persuade them to abandon their case or settle on more favourable terms.

Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner at the Oscars in 2022

(AFP via Getty Images)

Baumgartner filed for divorce from the Field of Dreams star in May after 18 years of marriage, citing “irreconcilable differences”. Court filings obtained byPeople later confirmed that the handbag designer listed their date of separation as 11 April.

At the time of the couple’s split, a representative for the actor said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that circumstances beyond his control have transpired which have resulted in Mr Costner having to participate in a dissolution of marriage action.”

Baumgartner formally requested a judge set a new monthly child custody order and she was temporarily awarded $129,755 in monthly support for their three children during a July hearing after initially requesting $248,000 per month. Meanwhile, Costner had offered $51,000.

The pair wed in 2004 after six years of dating, marking Costner’s second marriage following his divorce from Cindy Silva in 1994. They welcomed their first child together three years into their marriage.

Together, Costner and Baumgartner share sons Cayden Wyatt, 16 and Hayes Logan, 14 and daughter Grace Avery, 13. Costner is also a father to four older children from previous relationships: Annie, 39, Lily, 37, Joe, 35, and Liam, 27.

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