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How Not to Co-Parent – A Celebrity Example

Sometimes celebrity couples split up and give us a shining example of how to compromise and come to a divorce settlement, quickly and quietly. Other times, they give divorce attorneys great examples of what NOT to do when going through a divorce or co-parenting your children. Such is the case of Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen. Richards and Sheen have been battling over money and their children since they divorced nine years ago. Their most recent battle comes on the heels of Richards' allegations that Sheen cut her and the children off and sent the children angry, vulgar, and expletive ridden texts. Denise Richards: Charlie Sheen Has Cut Me Off…And Called Me and My Kids Horrible Names, by TMZ Staff,, January 21, 2016.

While the crux of Richards' lawsuit is that Sheen evicted her and the kids from their home in violation of a trust agreement, she has included several examples of his hostility and aggression in her court filings. For his part, Sheen claims that he has paid Richards substantial sums of money since their divorce and that her recent filing is "a desperate attempt to get more money."

Custody and visitation do not appear to be at issue in this case. As a result of Sheen's legal issues and lifestyle over the past few years, Richards has primary custody and Sheen, presumably, has some visitation, though it is unclear whether it is supervised or not. Nonetheless, Richards' inclusion of the details of Sheen's inappropriate correspondence with the children is likely meant to sway the Judge in some way. For one thing, it could help convince the Judge that Sheen evicted them out of spite. This could negate any defense he may have for that claim.

No matter how angry you are or how much you hate your former spouse, taking it out on the children, or even voicing your hate to your ex, is completely inappropriate. For one thing, if you have children together, you will be tied together forever and likely be forced to communicate and see each other more often than you would like. In addition, it is not how you want to look in the eyes of the Judge who will be deciding both custody and all financial issues related to your divorce and compliance with the divorce decree. Certainly, sending expletive ridden texts to your ex or your children will not place you in a good light as a Judge is likely to think that you will be unable to be cooperative under the terms of any divorce decree. If you have that much anger, consider seeing a professional to help you work through it - your relationship with your children (and your ex) will thank you.


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