Children are often one of the most contentious issues in a divorce. Illinoisans struggle over who will get the kids and how much child support the non-custodial parent should pay. Seldom, however, do those issues result in neither parent having child custody, yet one parent continuing to pay the other parent child support.
That rare situation, however, is exactly what has happened to Charlie Sheen and his ex-wife, Brooke Mueller. The couple has two children together, twin boys. When the couple split, Mueller received custody. Mueller lost custody of the twins, however, after she was placed on involuntary psychiatric hold following a drug overdose.
With Mueller's loss of custody (and, interestingly, custody given to Sheen's second wife, actress Denise Richards), Sheen sought to reduce his child support obligation. That request ultimately went to mediation, where the parties brokered a deal that calls for Sheen to pay Mueller $25,000 a month in child support, with that number ballooning back up to $55,000 a month if Mueller gets custody again.
Why would Sheen agreed to such a deal when a court likely would have reduced his child support obligation to zero? Because, according to sources, he did not want to kick his ex-wife while she was down.
For her part, Mueller is reportedly less than pleased about the sharp reduction in child support payments, but also acknowledged that she probably got a good deal. After all, if the dispute had gone before the court, she very well may have received nothing.
Despite the uniqueness of the Sheen-Mueller mediation, Illinoisans who find themselves in a similar situation - a child support dispute - may wish to consider mediation as an option before resorting to litigation.
Source: Radar Online, "Charlie Sheen's Child Support Payments To Brooke Mueller Slashed in Half," Jen Heger, Sept. 17, 2013