Kevin Costner wins divorce battle against Christine Costner as judge cuts child support in half

The 68-year-old Oscar winner also addressed his 'Yellowstone' exit during Friday's testimony.

Kevin Costner attends divorce hearing amid his and Christine Costner's disagreement over child support in Santa Barbara, Calif. on Aug. 31, 2023. (Backgrid)
Kevin Costner attends divorce hearing amid his and Christine Costner's disagreement over child support in Santa Barbara, Calif. on Aug. 31, 2023. (Backgrid)

Kevin Costner came out victorious in his child support battle against Christine Costner. A judge ruled he only has to pay $63,209 a month — less than half of what she's been receiving — after an emotional two days in court. Christine filed for divorce in May after 18 years of marriage and it's been nothing short of messy ever since.

During Kevin's testimony on Friday, he shed more light into his departure from Yellowstone, claiming it wasn't his choice to leave the hit show. In fact, the 68-year-old implied he plans to sue over the "disappointing" situation. According to a source inside the courtroom, Kevin's testimony largely revolved around his finances and how much money he's made over the last few years.

Christine tried to convince a judge to award her $161,592 a month as she claimed that's the amount necessary to provide her and Kevin's three kids — Cayden, 16, Hayes, 14, and Grace, 13 — a similar, luxurious lifestyle when they are in her care. Kevin has made around $19 million annually the last two years. Christine's attorney arrived at their child support figure by using a formula given Kevin's substantial income, largely due to Yellowstone. However, the actor made the case that this should not be considered as it's past, not future income.

Kevin apparently testified he planned to shoot Seasons 5 and 6 of Yellowstone and negotiated a fee of $12 million for each installment. Season 5, the most recent season of the hit Western series, was ultimately split into two. The first part of Season 5 was eight episodes while the second half will be six. The back half of Season 5 has yet to be completed, but Kevin swore under oath he rearranged his schedule in order to try and make it work.

The Daily Mail and TMZ claim that Kevin stated he was ready to film last fall, only to find out scripts for the second part of Season 5 were not completed. The actor said he made adjustments to Horizon, a multi-film passion project he's working on, in order to accommodate Yellowstone. Kevin reportedly said he was still negotiating with the studio in February and May. He apparently cited "creative differences" as to why a deal didn't get done and claimed the studio walked away when he asked for $12 million.

"It's a little disappointing that the number one show on television is not producing. I'll probably go to court over it. I'm disappointed in the production," Kevin apparently stated.

Yahoo Entertainment reached out to Paramount+ for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan previously commented on the studio and Costner's disagreement. The writer, who was rumored to be beefing with Costner, denied reports of a rift earlier this summer and told The Hollywood Reporter he was "disappointed" that the actor would not return.

"My last conversation with Kevin was that he had this passion project he wanted to direct," Sheridan said of the actor's four-part movie series, Horizon: An American Saga. "He and the network were arguing about when he could be done with Yellowstone. I said, 'We can certainly work a schedule toward [his preferred exit date],' which we did... I don't dictate the schedule."

At one point during Friday's hearing, Kevin made a joke when Christine's attorney accused him of earning more money during the first seasons of Yellowstone than previously stated: "Oh good, we'll have to have a treasure hunt to find it."

However, Kevin said it was not a laughing matter when he spoke with Access Hollywood after court.

"Were you laughing? I wasn't. This is a horrible place to be but this is where we're at," he replied. "It feels so bad, we're talking about somebody I love on the other side."

When asked if he "still has love" for Christine, the actor said "of course" and said he believes "everybody" hopes things are resolved quickly.

It wasn't just Kevin's relationship with Yellowstone that was debated on Friday. The actor was also asked about Christine's new standard of living and whether his beachfront compound and her new $40,000 rental home are "fair."

"I don't believe they are equal," he replied, per People, but claimed the two properties "are comparable" as he "doesn't know what fair means."

When asked if he'd live in Christine's rental in Montecito, the actor replied, "No, I would not, but that's not because it's not comparable. I raised three children in [my] house."

"I'd like some features of [Christine's] home, to be quite honest," he quipped of her home.

In documents, Christine claimed the rental house is not adequate.

"Unlike Kevin's Beach Club Compound, [the rental] is on the mountain side of the freeway. It does not have beachfront access, nor is it walking distance to the beach, and has no scenic view," her lawyers stated in a court filing, arguing the kids should live in a "comparable house when they are with Christine."

Kevin reportedly still referred to Christine as his "wife" while on the stand on Friday and also made a comment about how she "left" him. Christine did not react to those remarks or look at her ex during his testimony, according to People.

On Thursday, the former handbag designer cried on the stand when talking about the estimated $100 million beachfront home she used to live in with Kevin and their children. Christine's lawyer even told the court luxury is in the children's "DNA at this point," which is why she claimed she needed more money to fund a similar lifestyle.

In July, Christine was awarded $129,755 in temporary spousal support. Kevin argued around $60,000 was enough to reasonably accommodate the kids as his team has laid out an exact budget of what all three need. The judge clearly agreed.

[Editor's note: This post was originally published on Friday, Sept. 1 at 6:50 p.m. ET and was updated to reflect the judge's ruling.]