Texas residents who are interested in celebrity news may have spotted recent headlines about Charlie Sheen's July 10 request to a judge that he no longer pay child support to ex-wife Brooke Mueller. The couple's twins were removed from Mueller's home and placed with another of Sheen's ex-wives, Denise Richards, after Mueller reportedly had a drug relapse and went to rehab, where she remains, according to sources.
Sheen petitioned the court to have the $55,000-per-month child support payments dropped on the basis that Mueller is no longer caring for the children due to her situation. Sheen cited the case of his "Two and a Half Men" co-star Jon Cryer, who was able to convince a judge to lower his child support payments after his ex-wife was accused of child abuse.
Finding a precedent prior to entering a courtroom could be helpful in arguing a case like this. The question raised in this particular case is whether or not Sheen should continue to pay support to a woman who is not paying any expenses for the children. He stated that he will continue to pay for the children's education and other needs regardless of the outcome of this particular case.
Child support payment amounts are typically determined by the courts as part of the divorce process, but extenuating circumstances may present themselves well after the payment amount and schedule is established. In some cases, a job loss or sudden, chronic illness could cut short a non-custodial parent's income, or the custodial parent could cease caring for the children, which is the basis for Sheen's claim. A family law attorney could draft a payment modification to reflect extenuating circumstances, or he or she could present the case to the court in a manner that compels the court to rule in favor of the client's best interests.
Source: NY Daily News, "Charlie Sheen makes legal move to stop paying ex Brooke Mueller $55K a month in child support", Nancy Dillon, July 11, 2013