The order comes less than a week after Costner's monthly child support payments were drastically reduced.
Kevin Costner just scored another victory in court -- albeit a smaller one -- after the judge in his divorce case sanctioned the actor's estranged wife and ordered her to pay a chunk of his attorney's fees.
The judge on Wednesday ordered Christine Baumgartner to fork over $14,237.50 to cover Costner's attorney fees after he said he was forced to file a motion to compel because he claimed she refused to answer, "without justification," basic discovery. In court documents he filed Aug. 30 in Santa Barbara Court and obtained by ET, Costner claimed Baumgartner had every opportunity for nearly three months to answer his "straightforward discovery requests" but failed to do so.
As ET previously reported, Costner accused Baumgartner of using "stalling tactics" to drag out the bitter divorce battle. His legal team also slammed Baumgartner's claim that she did not understand their prenup agreement when she signed it, calling the so-called tactic "gamesmanship of the worst sort." He added that this "silly rhetoric ... just reinforces the game playing."
In his court documents requesting she be sanctioned, Costner said he "should never have been forced to file [his] motion to compel" and because he was forced to do so, Baumgartner "should be ordered to reimburse him for the attorney's fees he has and will incur" in order to get Baumgartner to comply with her discovery obligations. Costner listed $14,237.50 in attorney's fees he incurred to file the motion to compel. Exactly one week after Costner's request his estranged wife be sanctioned, the judge agreed.
Costner, in court documents, said "it is hoped that this [sanction] will be a deterrent to any discovery abuse on Christine's part in the future."
Costner did not attend Wednesday's hearing, either in person or via Zoom. For her part, Baumgartner appeared as though she was driving but pulled over to attend the hearing (via Zoom), which lasted approximately 30 minutes.
There's another hearing set for Sept. 20 to settle any further disputes over attorney's fees.
The judge's order also comes less than a week after the Yellowstone star's monthly child support payments were drastically reduced -- from $129,000 per month to $63,209. Baumgartner, who shares three children with Costner, filed for divorce in May after 18 years of marriage.
Days after that ruling, the judge in the case explained why he sided with Costner and not Baumgartner in their "contentious" child support battle.