Judge rules Kevin Costner's estranged wife can't take property from $145 million estate

A judge recently ruled the 'Yellowstone' star's wife Christine Baumgartner must move out of the family home, owned by Costner, by July 31

A judge ruled Friday that Kevin Costner's estranged wife Christine Baumgartner cannot take items from the Carpinteria, California, home they once shared as she moves into a new space.

The judge stood behind his tentative ruling during a July 14 hearing. "Christine shall be permitted to remove her toiletries, clothing, hand bags and jewelry from Kevin’s Beach Club Road residence," according to the judge's ruling, obtained by Fox News Digital.

"Christine is prohibited from removing any other items from the property, including, but not limited to furniture, furnishings, appliances and artwork from the Beach Club Road residences and from any storage unit maintained by the parties, whether jointly or individually absent a written agreement executed or by the parties or further court order."


judge rules kevin costners estranged wife cant take property from 145 million estate

Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner have been locked in a legal battle as they work out their divorce. (Getty Images)

Neither Baumgartner nor Costner attended court Friday. Costner’s counsel, Jacqueline Misho, argued on his behalf, while Baumgartner’s lawyer, John Rydell, was in court.

Misho emphasized during the hearing that all Costner's team wanted was confirmation that Baumgartner "would not remove items that were not agreed upon."

Judge Thomas Anderle made it clear he wants the property issue resolved before the couple go to trial over the validity and enforceability of the pre-marital agreement in November. "Christine’s [objection] is not unreasonable, but on balance, the court elects to resolve potential issues now rather than at trial time," Anderle wrote in the conclusion of his ruling.

judge rules kevin costners estranged wife cant take property from 145 million estate

Baumgartner and her lawyer, Mark Rydell, leave Superior Court in Santa Barbara, California, on Wednesday. (Fox News Digital)

Costner's team argued that Baumgartner should not be allowed to take items from the beach home without the "Yellowstone" star's expressed permission as the pre-marital agreement says there is no community property.

The ex parte petition, filed Thursday and obtained by Fox News Digital, revealed some of the contested items, including "some pots and pans," "some appliances: chopper, juicer," and "random items: a glass vase, a dog bed, throw blankets, Peloton . . .," among other household items. 

Costner's petition insists that Baumgartner has $1.5 million at her disposal, which is "plenty of money to buy furniture, pots and pans and dishes."


Baumgartner's legal team slammed the ex parte hearing as a smear campaign by Costner's team.

"Clearly Kevin is angry about the court's recent ruling on the child support and fee request, and his legal team is using this ex parte hearing as an opportunity to play the press and smear Christine," the purse designer's objection, also filed Thursday, read. Baumgartner claimed to have provided photographs and a list of items she planned to take.

The objection claimed that Costner 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)."

judge rules kevin costners estranged wife cant take property from 145 million estate

Baumgartner will receive $129,755 in monthly child support from Costner. (Fox News Digital)

All of this legal back and forth has occurred while Costner is on vacation with the couple's two sons.

"Christine is literally fighting over pots and pans at this point. With $129,000 a month in child support, she can buy new pots and pans," celebrity divorce lawyer Christopher C. Melcher told Fox News Digital. "Kevin is on vacation with their sons out of state and proposed that Christine take her personal belongings with her when she moves out on July 31."

"The furnishings and other items in the house can be addressed later when they have more time," he added. "Kevin feels like Christine wants to remove his separate property — furniture, computers, and equipment — from the home, which is not theirs to split. This needs to be an orderly process. The items can be inventoried and remain in place for later determination."


judge rules kevin costners estranged wife cant take property from 145 million estate

Costner is currently vacationing with two of the former couple's three kids. (Getty Images)

Costner's ex parte petition also revealed that Baumgartner had used $25,000 to pay a criminal defense law firm without the actor's knowledge. The court documents did not specify why Baumgartner might need such legal help.

"It is concerning to hear that Christine spent $25,000 on a criminal defense attorney when no allegations have been made about criminal conduct or abuse," Melcher said. "Why would she need a criminal defense attorney?"

Baumgartner was ordered by a judge last week to vacate the separate residence of their $145 million Carpinteria compound by July 31. 

Costner purchased the property before their marriage, and a pre-marital agreement allegedly stipulated that she would not only move out of the home within 30 days, but also no longer live in any of his properties if they divorced. She would have needed to be moved out of the home by June 2, according to Costner's filing.

Her team argued that the Santa Barbara housing market made it difficult for her to find a new home adequate to suit the needs of her three children, but Judge Anderle denied Baumgartner's request to move out of the residence by Aug. 15.


judge rules kevin costners estranged wife cant take property from 145 million estate

Baumgartner filed for divorce in May, citing "irreconcilable differences." (Amanda Edwards)

Baumgartner first filed for divorce from the "Field of Dreams" actor on May 1, citing "irreconcilable differences." The date of separation was listed as April 11, 2023.

They both filed for joint custody of their three kids: Cayden, 16; Hayes, 14; and Grace, 13.

Judge Anderle recently ruled that Baumgartner will receive $129,755 per month in child support. Costner will be required to pay $200,000 in attorney's fees and $100,000 in forensic costs.

The estranged couple will each be required to pay for 50% of their three children's health care expenses, sports and extracurricular activities. 

Baumgartner initially requested $248,000 per month in child support or "in the alternative, at the guideline rate of $217,300 per month, payable on the first day of each month." She also had requested that Costner cover 100% of the children's schooling, health care and extracurricular activities.

judge rules kevin costners estranged wife cant take property from 145 million estate

Costner married Baumgartner after five years of dating, at their Aspen, Colorado, ranch on Sept. 25, 2004. (Getty Images)

Authored by Lauryn Overhultz,Tracy Wright via FoxNews July 14th 2023