Judge approves substantial child support reduction for Sheen

The ongoing public drama involving actor Charlie Sheen and his ex-wife Brooke Mueller took another turn this week, as Sheen and Mueller have agreed to an unusual child support modification. In the average case — celebrity or not — one parent’s inability to personally care for the children wouldn’t typically result in a reduction in child support. The support would be redirected to the person now in custody of the children.

Sheen and Mueller have twins, who had been in the custody of Mueller since the pair divorced in 2010. As you may recall, Mueller is currently in rehab after a drug overdose in May. Child protective services removed the twins from Mueller’s care, but Sheen is apparently not eligible to take custody. In an unusual move, and LA judge agreed to grant Sheen’s previous wife Denise Richards temporary guardianship over the twins.

Richards, who has two daughters with Sheen, was already receiving $55,000 a month in child support, according to Radar Online. When Sheen offered to transfer the boys’ support payments to her, however, Richards declined, which left Sheen to make other arrangements for the money, presumably in the boys’ interest.

Mueller is reportedly doing well and has impressed child protective services with her commitment to sobriety. She now has supervised visitation and is on her way to regaining custody.

According to a Radar Online source, Sheen could have gone to court to request an official child support modification to reflect the change in circumstances, but he “didn’t want to kick Brooke when she was down.”

Instead, Sheen’s and Mueller’s lawyers went to a mediator and worked out an agreement reducing the payments to Mueller from $55,000 to $25,000 a month. Should the courts restore her custody, he agreed to immediately increase the child support back to $55,000.

Here in Georgia, parents can also seek modifications to their child support payments when there has been a substantial change in circumstances. However, you should be aware that a personal agreement is not sufficient. Unless the modification is approved by the court, the Division of Child Support Services will insist on continuing to collect the full, court-ordered amount.

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