Kevin Costner and Christine Costner put their metaphorical weapons down. After more than (a very contentious) four months, Yahoo Entertainment has confirmed the estranged pair settled their divorce.
“Kevin and Christine Costner have come to an amicable and mutually agreed upon resolution of all issues pertaining to their divorce proceedings,” a rep said on behalf of both Kevin and Christine.
Details of the agreement have not been made public. While it may seem like a surprising turn of events, Yahoo’s legal experts previously suggested it would be in Christine’s best interest to get a new strategy after a string of losses in court and her recent admission that she was struggling with mounting legal fees.
Christine, 49, filed for divorce from the Yellowstone star on May 1. She listed the date of separation as April 11. In a statement at the time, Kevin made it clear it was not his decision to end the 18-year marriage.
“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,” a rep for the Oscar-winning actor, 68, told Yahoo. “We ask that his, Christine’s and their children’s privacy be respected as they navigate this difficult time.”
However, not much remained private. Almost immediately, mud-slinging began in court documents that were made public. Christine, a former handbag designer, accused Kevin of trying to evict her and their three children: sons Cayden, 16, and Hayes, 14, plus daughter Grace, 13. She claimed he told them of the divorce over FaceTime. He accused her of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on plastic surgery.
Celebrity divorce attorney Chris Melcher, who has been following the case, said the settlement was somewhat surprising at this juncture.
“It is too bad that, after months of acrimonious and embarrassing litigation, the parties were unable to settle earlier. Like many of these cases, it was avoidable had both sides been realistic,” he told Yahoo on Tuesday. “Christine took an aggressive stance at the outset, refusing the vacate the family residence as she had agreed in the premarital agreement in the event of a separation, and demanding extravagant amounts for child support.”
Christine was seeking $161,592 in monthly child support. After a two-day hearing in September, she was dealt a big blow in court when the judge sided with Kevin in that $63,209 a month is reasonable.
“The parties were married for 20 years, have children together, and led a lavish lifestyle, so there was no question that child support would be high. But Christine kept asking for more and the demands were eye-watering,” Melcher explained. “It created the appearance that she was seeking the child support more for herself than what the children truly needed. Kevin had offered her more than the $63,000 per month that the court ordered after an evidentiary hearing. Clearly, Christine miscalculated when she rejected the offer and asked for more than double that amount.”
In July, Christine was handed her first defeat in court when a judge ordered her to leave the family compound near Santa Barbara, Calif. When Christine signed a prenup ahead of her 2004 wedding, she agreed that if she were to ever file for divorce, she would vacate the property within 30 days. In his ruling, the judge cited the premarital agreement which signaled that he viewed the document as valid.
Christine planned to contest the prenup, but it was unclear if she intended to challenge the whole thing or just the the limitation on spousal support. According to the signed document, she’s entitled to a settlement of $1.4 million. Her lawyer fees have almost surpassed that number. If she were to contest the prenup and lose, she’d have to pay both her and Kevin’s legal fees.
Melcher believes Christine “had a legitimate issue” regarding the one-time spousal support payment she agreed to almost 20 years ago.
“That is, of course, more than most will ever receive in alimony, but it is a fraction of what she would have been awarded for her lifetime had the agreement [not] been signed. California law permits a party to challenge a waiver or limitation of spousal support in a premarital if the provision is unconscionable at the time of trial,” Melcher said. “The $1 million payment would not allow Christine to live at the marital standard of living after child support ends, so she challenged the prenup. A trial was set for November, but the parties have settled on a different amount. This spares the parties and their children from further litigation.”
Two weeks ago, Kevin broke his silence about the divorce. After court, he told Access Hollywood he “still has love” for Christine and that “everybody” hopes things are resolved quickly.
“This is a horrible place to be but this is where we’re at,” he said. “It feels so bad, we’re talking about somebody I love on the other side.”
Carol Dennis is an entertainment aficionado with an eye for all things pop culture. She dives into the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry, from movie premieres to music festivals. Carol’s passion for storytelling extends beyond her reporting, as she’s an aspiring screenwriter in her free time.