Published on:

Sheen-Richards Child Custody Dispute Intensifies

The tabloids and blogsites were abuzz last week with stories about the intensifying child custody dispute between Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen, and this story has not gone unnoticed by our Santa Clara County Family Lawyers. Richards and Sheen, who divorced while the actress was six months pregnant with their daughter Lola, are currently hurling accusations of poor parenting back and forth, as the media intercept the juiciest tidbits. The latest allegations from the Richards camp were revealed in a custody action filed by her attorneys on Wednesday. The action describes Sheen as an “unfit parent” who displays “inappropriate behavior” around unidentified young women, and even goes so far as to accuse him of exposing himself on the internet. Undoubtedly, Richards is attempting to paint a portrait of her estranged husband as an uncontrollable pervert who should not be allowed custody over their two young daughters, (ages 3 and 2,) and Sheen has responded to these recent charges as being “absurd and sick.”
Sheen’s team, however, is not without its own ammunition. Stories reporting bizarre, erratic, and unstable behavior by Richards are trickling their way into tabloid publications such as Star Magazine, which reported that Richards is insanely jealous of Sheen’s new fiancĂ©e, real estate agent Brooke Mueller. Although Richards has reportedly attempted to palliate the situation by spending time with Sheen, Mueller, and the two girls, it has been reported that these occasions are often strained and awkward, and have even ended with Richards locking herself in the bedroom with both girls, sobbing about what a horrible person her former spouse is.
But what about the children? The most disturbing information to surface in this story is that Lola and her sister, Sam, throw frequent temper tantrums, and behave in a manner more commonly observed in older children enduring the strains of divorce. When both parties in a custody battle continually spew negative accusations against one another, the individuals who suffer the most are certainly the children. Family law attorneys should be sensitive to this fact, and assist their clients in reaching a child custody settlement that is in the best interest of the children. It is not necessary for dueling parents to like each other, or get along with each others’ new partners; rather it is imperative that children caught in the middle of the battle feel as safe and stable as possible whether they are under the care of one or both parents.