Christine Costner was dealt a significant blow in her divorce case final week as a decide sided with Kevin Costner concerning little one help funds — and the hits preserve coming.
Santa Barbara County Decide Thomas P. Anderle ordered Christine to pay a few of her estranged husband’s attorneys charges throughout a listening to on Wednesday. The previous purse designer should fork over $14,237.50 by Sept. 22, in keeping with Fox News Digital. Neither Christine nor Kevin appeared in courtroom for the listening to.
On Friday, Anderle denied Christine’s request to extend her month-to-month little one help, which was briefly set round $129,000, and ended up slicing it in half. That took impact on Friday. In courtroom paperwork obtained by Entertainment Tonight, the decide laid out his reasoning and located that $63,209 per thirty days moderately meets the wants of the Costner children — Cayden, 16, Hayes, 14, and Grace, 13 — as Kevin requested.
The decide beforehand dominated in favor of Kevin in July, when he ordered that Christine should vacate the household dwelling. She filed for divorce in Could after 18 years of marriage, and in keeping with the previous couple’s prenup, she agreed she’d go away the property inside 30 days of submitting. The decide enforced that situation.
So, the place does Christine go from right here? Authorized specialists agree “she must reevaluate her technique.”
“Christine is on a dropping streak.”
Celeb divorce legal professional Chris Melcher tells Yahoo Leisure that whereas Christine “had a reputable declare to little one help,” she “overplayed her hand by asking for ridiculously excessive quantities.” (Final week, she wished the decide to extend the month-to-month sum to $161,592 a month given the Yellowstone star’s excessive earnings.)
“There is not any doubt the events had a lavish way of life throughout marriage and that Kevin has terribly excessive earnings, however little one help is designed to satisfy the affordable wants of the kids. Christine made herself look grasping by asking for $161,000 per thirty days in little one help, as nobody would moderately imagine that it will value that a lot cash to help the kids whereas in her care,” he explains. “It was simpler to conclude that Christine wished this cash for her personal profit as disguised alimony.”
Melcher provides, “Christine may need satisfied the decide to award greater than the $63,000 per thirty days that Kevin proposed had she introduced an inexpensive different. As a substitute, she requested for the moon and the courtroom was left with just one proposal that made any sense. The end result ought to have been apparent to Christine however she has made a collection of missteps in courtroom, so it’s time for her to rethink her method.”
Legal professional Katherine Miller agrees, telling Yahoo Leisure that Christine’s blow in courtroom is “important.” The kid help ruling additionally signifies “what’s necessary to the decide on this matter” and he or she might wish to “to enchantment to him from one other method.”
Each Miller and Melcher say it is time for Christine to “reevaluate” her authorized technique.
“Maybe, extra importantly, she may do properly to think about altering her technique within the negotiation with Kevin himself and see if she will be able to use this loss to reframe these discussions right into a extra optimistic end result,” Miller provides. “Kevin appears certain that the estranged couple will work it out and this could be the right second to see if that’s true.”
As for what’s coming subsequent, Christine intends to problem the prenup she signed forward of their 2004 wedding ceremony and a trial has been set for later this yr.
Melcher believes there’s just one play by way of the prenup.
Christine has but to point if she intends to problem the entire prenup, or simply the limitation on spousal help. In accordance with the doc she signed, she’s entitled to a settlement of $1.4 million.
“California legislation makes it exhausting to implement a premarital settlement that was made in 2002 or later, as these agreements are presumed to have been signed involuntarily. Kevin has already made a preliminary exhibiting that Christine signed the settlement voluntarily, so will probably be troublesome for Christine to assert in any other case,” Melcher begins.
“The higher line of assault is for Christine to problem the a part of the prenup that gives for a lump sum cost of [$1.4 million] in lieu of spousal help. The courtroom can invalidate that provision if it concludes that it’s unconscionable for Christine to obtain solely [$1.4 million] for spousal help, relatively than the excessive month-to-month funds that she would in all probability obtain for Kevin’s lifetime,” he continues. “Actually, Christine would obtain way more than [$1.4 million] in spousal help had she not signed the prenup. However that does not make the prenup unconscionable.”
Over the past two years, Kevin has remodeled $19 million, principally because of Yellowstone. He is estimated to be price round $400 million. In courtroom, Kevin claimed his earnings lately was unusually excessive because of the hit Western present, which he’s now not part of, and the decide agreed.
Nonetheless, Melcher factors out the quantity Christine will probably be receiving a month in little one help continues to be excessive — particularly as Kevin pays for the kids’s medical insurance prices, all personal faculty tuition and associated prices, extracurricular bills and Cayden’s automotive and bills associated to it. There’s an opportunity the courtroom might discover the $1.4 million cost “enough.”
Whereas it could seem to be Kevin’s prenup is “ironclad,” Melcher cautions there’s “no such factor” as an ironclad cleanup… a minimum of in California.
“The legislation presumes that agreements made in 2002 or later had been signed involuntarily. The burden is on the proponent of the settlement to show that the settlement was made voluntarily. Additionally, limitations on spousal help will probably be thrown out when the availability is [unreasonable],” he shares.
In Melcher’s professional opinion, the $1.4 million provision for spousal help “is on the low facet, contemplating the marital lifestyle this couple had, so there’s a probability the courtroom may discover the quantity is unconscionable.”
Difficult the prenup comes with a critical threat — and Christine may find yourself with nothing.
“The danger Christine takes in difficult the prenup is that she will probably be required to pay the entire legal professional charges for each side concerning the trial if she loses. She may wind up with nothing on the finish of the day, aside from little one help,” Melcher shares. “The prenup has a provision requiring the loser to pay the charges in any litigation over the enforcement of the settlement. The courtroom will probably be required to evaluate these charges towards the dropping celebration, with the one problem being the reasonableness of the quantity requested.”
Miller places it bluntly: “If she challenges it, she higher make certain she’s going to win and that’s removed from a foregone conclusion.”
There’s a probability Kevin may very well be on the hook for more cash.
Miller acknowledges Christine might must pay extra of her ex’s legal professional’s charges, particularly “if within the courtroom’s view she and her authorized crew are abusing the system in a roundabout way or inflicting pointless litigation or delay.” However Kevin faces the identical threat.
“[There’s] the very actual chance that the decide might decide that Kevin’s deeper pockets give him extra energy within the litigation and order him to pay some and even all of Christine’s authorized charges,” she provides.
“The nasty blows between the events in courtroom don’t assist both of them…”
Melcher thinks Christine and Kevin want to chill it with the messy allegations in authorized filings and on the stand. It is clear the decide took discover, too, as he referred to final week’s two-day listening to as “contentious” and “acrimonious at instances.” It stays to be seen if the mud slinging is over.