father's hand on daughter's neck

Can child support be abused?

Missouri parents seeking child support may not always have the best interests of their child at heart. While child support is often an essential part of ensuring that the children of divorced parents do not have to go without due to having only one parent supporting them, the system can be abused. One recent incident involving celebrities has brought attention to this issue. Brooke Mueller, Charlie Sheen’s ex-wife, recently was admitted to rehab in an ongoing struggle against drug addiction.

This, along with other factors, led to her children being removed from her care. According to Sheen’s lawyers, Muller is attempting to have the children put back in her custody because her sole source of income is the $55,000 a month she receives for child support. If she is no longer responsible for their care, she is no longer able to collect this support.

In addition to the sensational headlines this custody battle has generated, it has also brought to light the fact that it is likely the child support Muller was receiving was not being spent only on the couple’s children. Some believe that the money was going to support Muller’s drug addiction.

Child support can be very important to ensuring that children of divorced parents are cared for properly. It can help pay for medical bills and expenses related to education. However, it should not be an undue burden for a divorced parent, and it should also go to taking care of children. If someone is going through a divorce, a lawyer may be able to help them understand child custody and support laws and help them achieve an equitable outcome related to these issues.

Source: The Root, “Child-Support Laws: A Boon for Gold Diggers?“, Keli Goff, May 22, 2013