Drug abuse and modifications can play roles in custody sagas

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Support on Friday, September 20, 2013.

People should certainly not believe everything they read in the magazines and tabloids. However, it is important to note that when it comes to family law issues for Illinois fathers, there is something that can sometimes be learned from these stories by more reading in between the lines.

Take for example the recent story involving actor Charlie Sheen and his ex-wife Brooke Mueller. The news is that even though the kids were taken away from Mueller in May — for her reported drug overdose and involuntary psychiatric hold — Sheen is still paying the mother of the two boys child support.

It is no small amount either. Even with a reduction, given the fact the children are not living with her, sources say he is still paying her $25,000 a month. When — and if — she gets the children back, at that time the child support will be bumped back up to its original $55,000 a month amount.

For now, the two twin boys are continuing to live with Sheen’s other ex-wife, Denise Richards. Richards and Sheen have two children together and now she is caring for the twins her ex-husband had with Mueller.

All around this entire case is no doubt filled with a good deal of gossip. However, for the Illinois father who is wondering just how to relate, there are two family law aspects heavily at play here: drug abuse and how that can affect child custody and modifications to existing child support orders.

In terms of drug abuse, if an Illinois father has reason to believe his ex-wife is using drugs, this should certainly be shared with an attorney. This is important not only from a child custody point of view, but for the safety of a child.

Sharing this information can end up resulting in a judge ordering a mother to take a drug test. Failing this drug test could be detrimental to the mother fighting for custody.

In cases where child support payments are an issue, a paying parent should also keep in mind there are reasons for modifications. These reasons should be shared with a family law attorney who can petition the court for a modification.

Source: Radar Online, “Charlie Sheen’s Child Support Payments To Brooke Mueller Slashed In Half,” Jen Heger, Sept. 17, 2013

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