Maintaining privacy is a particular challenge in high-profile divorce cases involving celebrities and public figures. Keeping media attention to a minimum and guarding the client's private information, such as the contents of the divorce agreement should always be high-priority. Unfortunately for Charlie Sheen, his recent divorce has been an ongoing hot topic in the media, and details from his divorce agreement have been divulged to the press.
Charlie Sheen filed for divorce from his third wife, actress Brooke Mueller, on November 2, 2010. Although the divorce will not be final until May 2, 2011, the details of this celebrity divorce agreement were made public by the celebrity gossip website TMZ.com.
In high-asset divorce cases, obtaining an accurate, credible and well-documented valuation of assets is often an important issue. Just as in any divorce, however, the market value of real estate is most often determined either by selling it or by agreement between the parties.
In the case of the Sheen-Mueller divorce agreement, the parties negotiated to allow Sheen to take full ownership of the family home and continue living there. In exchange, Sheen agreed to pay Mueller $1.25 million, half of the agreed value of the home.
For high-income parents, determining appropriate spousal support and child support can also be complicated. It is especially complex in cases in which one party does not have a regular ongoing salary, such as actors, whose incomes tend to fluctuate substantially.
Sheen has agreed to pay Mueller a lump sum of $757,000 in lieu of ongoing spousal support. Such an arrangement can reduce the potential for future expenses necessary to maintain or enforce alimony payments.
Sheen also agreed to grant primary child custody of the couple's twin two-year old boys to Mueller, and to pay at least $55,000 per month in child support. In order to promote equity between all of Sheen's children, the agreement also requires that the child support payments for the twins must always be at least equal to the amount he pays in support of his two children by his second wife, actress Denise Richards.
Keeping tabs on the amount being paid for Richards's children and ensuring that the agreement is updated whenever that amount goes up could be costly, especially as Sheen and Mueller's relationship is currently quite contentious.
California law requires at least six months to pass after a divorce is filed before a final divorce decree can be entered. Sheen filed for the divorce on November 1, which will end the marriage just prior to what would have been the couple's three-year anniversary.
Source: Reuters, "Charlie Sheen reaches divorce deal with estranged wife," Steve Gorman, February 10, 2011