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Christine Baumgartner, the soon-to-be ex-wife of Kevin Costner, has a good reason to remain in the family home, according to one legal expert.
The former handbag designer, 49, had refused to leave the Yellowstone star’s, 68, beachfront home in Santa Barbara since filing for divorce back on May 1 – even though a clause within their prenuptial agreement, which Costner claims required her to leave within 30 days.
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, family law attorney Holly Davis of the firm Kirker Davis LLP, said: “There can often be a perfectly valid basis for refusing to abide by the terms of a premarital agreement or prenup, as Christine Baumgartner has done by refusing to immediately vacate the family home and requesting a higher sum.
“That basis is the nature of a ‘premarital agreement’ – it is negotiated prior to the marriage, which typically will mean it is negotiated before children are born.
“Courts in these circumstances will focus on the needs of children, and Baumgartner has a strong argument to make against abiding by prenup terms that don’t factor in the children’s needs, and a strong argument about the children’s needs for stability — i.e. staying in the family home, at least until unsettled issues regarding the terms of the divorce and of child support are resolved.”
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Davis, who has extensive experience in high-net-worth divorce cases, went on to say: “Costner may have given Baumgartner a sum that was outlined in the prenup, but if those terms were agreed upon before the children were born, she may well be requesting an updated amount, not just an amount agreed on before the children existed.
“If her plan is indeed to request revisions to the prenup, accepting the money from Costner might undermine that plan.
“Costner could argue that the terms of the original prenup are being satisfied by his payment and by her acceptance of it.”
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Adding: “If that is the scenario, it makes sense for her to refuse his payment. Accepting a lesser amount would undermine her position that she needs a greater amount now that children are in the picture.”
Davis’ comments come as a judge ordered Baumgartner to leave the property by the end of July.
According to court documents, Judge Thomas Anderele ruled Baumgartner had to move out of the coastal estate at the end of the month.
It was reported Baumgartner was requesting to remain in the property until the end of August with Costner said to have wanted her to leave by July 13.
Baumgartner has also been requesting an estimated £194,000 ($248,000) per month in child support from Costner.
In court filings, she also asked Costner to cover the children’s private school fees, healthcare costs as well as extracurricular activities.
Costner and Baumgartner share three children together sons Cayden, 16, and Hayes, 14, and daughter Grace, 13 from their 18-year marriage.
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