Kevin Costner and his estranged wife Christine settle divorce: Here's what legal experts have to say about the situation
Kevin Costner and wife Christine reach a surprise divorce settlement. Experts say money and the spotlight on public disputes play a significant role.
Following a highly publicized courtroom battle, Kevin Costner and his distant wife, Christine, have surprisingly reached a divorce settlement, leaving many to speculate about the factors that have led to this situation.
On Tuesday, Kevin's representative told PEOPLE in a joint statement, "Kevin and Christine Costner have come to an amicable and mutually agreed-upon resolution of all issues pertaining to their divorce proceedings." This development is unexpected, given the intense legal dispute that unfolded following Christine's divorce filing in May.
PEOPLE magazine interviewed David Glass, a family law attorney and former psychologist based in California, who shared his insights on the potential reasons behind this sudden agreement. Money and the undesirable spotlight on their public disputes appear to have played significant roles.
David further explained, "People go to court, and then if one party does not do well, which Mrs. Costner didn't do well, she got a third of the child support she wanted. She didn't get her award for fees. She was told that the prenuptial agreement was going to be upheld. Then she starts considering, Do I really want to litigate the rest of this?"
As for Kevin, David believes it came down to a financial decision, stating, "Just a money situation. How much is it going to cost for him to go all the way through the trial? How much time, how much pressure on him, and distraction from his career and his kids, versus what could he pay to be done with it?"
Pressure from the media intensified in late August during a two-day court case in Santa Barbara, where child support arrangements were determined. Kevin had to divulge his earnings from projects like 'Yellowstone', while Christine made headlines as her attorney argued that luxury had become a part of their children's lives.
David mentioned how all of this could have been avoided, saying, "Most celebrity or high-profile clients go to their attorneys, and their attorneys explain, 'Listen, we should settle this because you don't want any of this in the news. You can either settle it or you can go to a private judge to keep it out of the news cycle."
On September 1, a judge set the monthly child support payments Kevin would make to Christine at $63,209, matching his proposed amount after her lawyers had initially requested $175,057, an increase from the tentative $129,755 the actor had been ordered to pay. The former couple has three children: their daughter Grace and their two sons, Cayden and Hayes.
The Costners were scheduled for another court appearance in December to assess the validity of their premarital agreement. David noted, "Once you get through that first hearing where you come out of court and you feel like a wrung-out rag and it's cost you a ton of money, most people start reconsidering, 'Do I really want to go all the way to trial?'"
TMZ initially reported the settlement, indicating Christine would receive more than what the couple's prenuptial agreement had stated. According to previous court documents referencing the prenup, the former model was entitled to approximately $1.5 million.
PEOPLE magazine confirmed on Tuesday that the 68-year-old Oscar winner and his 49-year-old wife had reached a settlement, four and a half months after she filed for divorce, listing their separation date as April 11. A source close to Kevin told PEOPLE, "Kevin is relieved that this matter has been settled and will continue to focus solely on jointly raising their three children."