You don’t have to be a celebrity news junkie to know that Kevin Costner’s less-than-amicable divorce is on the cover of every supermarket tabloid, and you’d be hard-pressed to find any TV news channel that isn’t running the latest headline related to his split. But why is the “Yellowstone” actor’s breakup seemingly juicier than most? 

Here are 10 reasons why we can’t seem to look away from the drama between Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner.  

1. Costner and Baumgartner have been married 18 years

Let’s face it – celebrities aren’t exactly known for their long marriages (see Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marriage to Kris Humphries, or Britney Spears’ 55-hour union to Jason Alexander). So when an actor has been with his wife for almost two decades and has three kids with her, we naturally want them to be the exception to the Hollywood divorce rule. And if that doesn’t happen, we can’t help but wonder what went wrong (cue media obsession). 

2. Costner is represented by celebrity divorce lawyer Laura Wasser

There are a lot of divorce lawyers in Hollywood, but no one has handled more celebrity splits than Laura Wasser. Costner, 68, is the latest high-profile client to hire the attorney to the stars, who has become famous in her own right for representing names including Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Ryan Reynolds, Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera (just to name a few). 

Interested in learning more about the most sought-after celebrity divorce attorney on the planet? Laura sat down for an exclusive interview with The Exit earlier this year!

Celebrity divorce lawyer Laura Wasser is an advisor for The Exit and Chief of Divorce Evolution for (Photo by Joanna DeGeneres)

3. Baumgartner wanted $248,000 per month in child support…

There’s been quite a dispute surrounding child support for the couple’s three kids, and the amount requested is staggering. 

Costner previously offered to pay $38,000 a month in child support, in addition to “100% of certain child related costs, including private school tuition, books, fees, and uniforms, and school trips, children’s sports, camps and other agreed upon extracurricular activities,” as well as health insurance, unreimbursed medical expenses, and therapy costs for the kids.

Baumgartner, 49, rejected the child support offer and instead demanded $248,000 per month – a number which she claimed was still less than the amount needed to “maintain the children in their accustomed lifestyle.”

Unsurprisingly, Costner stated that the number Baumgartner requested was “highly inflated and unsubstantiated.”

4. … but a judge substantially reduced that number

Baumgartner’s hefty child support request was denied on July 11, when Judge Thomas Anderle ordered Costner to pay $129,755/month in child support – significantly less than the $248,000 his soon-to-be ex-wife demanded.

In addition, the judge ordered Costner and Baumgartner to split the cost of their children’s sports, healthcare, and extracurricular activities, and for Costner to pay $100,000 in forensic expenses and $200,000 in legal fees.

5. Baumgartner refused to move out of their $145 million estate …

Costner’s $145 million, 1.4 acre beachfront Santa Barbara estate features a main home and two additional houses, and offers stunning Pacific Ocean views – so we can understand why Baumgartner isn’t exactly in a rush to move out. 

However, the prenuptial agreement between Costner and Baumgartner stated that she would be required to move out of their home within 30 days of filing for divorce – but Baumgartner said she would do no such thing until Costner agreed to her child support demands.

“Christine has not moved out, despite multiple requests that she do so and despite Kevin’s offers to assist her financially in relocating to a new residence,” Costner’s legal team wrote in documents.

6. … but a judge said Baumgartner had to pack her bags

Baumgartner’s efforts to stay in the Santa Barbara estate until her demands were met were quashed on July 5, when Judge Anderele ordered that Baumgartner leave the home by the end of the month. She had previously requested to have until August 31 to move out, as long as a child support agreement was in place following a July12 hearing on the matter. 

7. Costner is seeking $99,225 in legal fees from Baumgartner

Costner is fighting to recoup at least some of the money he’s obligated to pay out, noting that the prenup states that if either party retained counsel to “enforce or prevent a breach” of the agreement, “the prevailing party…shall be entitled…to be reimbursed by the non-prevailing party for all costs and expenses incurred thereby.”

As a result, Costner is asking Baumgartner to pay $99,225 for his legal fees – but Baumgartner is unlikely to take that lying down, since she requested that Costner advance $350,000 in attorney’s fees and $150,000 in forensic costs in a July 5 filing. 

8. They’re allegedly arguing over pots and pans

We can imagine their $145 million estate has some pretty amazing furnishings in it, but Baumgartner isn’t allowed to take any of it – at least not right now. 

Judge Anderle has ordered that Baumgartner “shall be permitted to remove her toiletries, clothing, handbags, and jewelry” from the Santa Barbara estate, and is prohibited from taking “any other items of property including, but not limited to, furniture, furnishings, appliances, and artwork.” 

Costner has alleged that under the terms of the prenup, there is “no community property.” His legal team says they asked Baumgartner to itemize personal items she wishes to take, but received a “hopelessly vague and ambiguous” list in response. They went on to assert that some of the items on her list are Kevin’s personal property, including outdoor furniture, gym equipment, and art. But it’s not just high dollar items they’re arguing about – they’re apparently fighting over pots and pans, too.  

Baumgartner’s attorneys have stated that their client “identified all of the items she plans to remove from the home via photos and written descriptions.” 

9. The family allegedly pays $550,000 in monthly expenses

The “accustomed lifestyle” that Baumgartner referred to in her request for $248,000/month in child support is part of the $550,000 that was spent by the family each month of 2022, according to Baumgartner’s legal team. 

That number included the purchase of a private jet, $238,000 in medical costs, $220,000 in credit card payments, $830,000 in gifts, $22,000 on spa services, $34,000 on golf and club dues, and $84,000 in household help. 

Household expenses included $12,000 in hunting dues, $64,000 in cleaning fees, over $41,000 on food, and almost $13,000 on a personal trainer. 

A total of $1.2 million was spent on the Santa Barbara home in 2022, and an additional $2 million was spent on their Aspen home.

10. Costner says Baumgartner was planning her exit for a long time

In a court filing obtained by People, Costner stated that Baumgartner had been “taking cash advances” on credit cards issued to staff members without Costner’s knowledge or consent. He also notes that a car purchase made prior to their separation could point to the fact that she was planning her split long before filing for divorce. 

“Months before separation, although the parties had always leased their automobiles, without [Costner’s] knowledge or consent, [Christine] bought an expensive vehicle for her personal use (probably because the [prenuptial agreement] allows her to take that vehicle with her),” the documents read. “Thus, it appears that [Christine] had been planning her exit long before she told [Costner] in April 2023.”

Baumgartner said the filing is full of “a myriad of false statements that are no doubt included to play to the press and ‘smear’ me in the media.”