Actor Jon Cryer Loses Child Support Appeal

An appellate court has ruled that actor Jon Cryer must pay $8,000 per month in child support to his ex-wife. The “Two and a Half Men” star filed papers in 2009 to eliminate altogether his child support payments to Sarah Trigger Cryer (who temporarily lost custody of their young son).

Cryer argued that Trigger only had custody of their son 4% of the time and that he shouldn’t have to pay any child support. The California Court of Appeal disagreed and held that lowering Cryer’s child support obligation could negatively impact his son.

Trigger’s visitation with the couple’s son has increased since 2009. Her lawyer says that she has custody of the child 35% of the time.

Source: TMZ.com, “Jon Cryer Court CRUSHES Appeal Pay Your Ex $8k per Month, August 30, 2011

Oregon Mother Tries to Stop Sons from Living with Child-Killer

An Oregon woman is fighting to stop her teenage sons from living with their father because he shares his home with a woman that killed her two daughters.

Trisha Conlon and John Cushing (who lives in Washington) were married in 1995 and divorced nine years later. The couple agreed to split the custody of their two sons, with Sam (13) spending most of his time with Cushing and Stephen (14) living with Conlon.

This child custody arrangement worked out fine until September 2007 when Conlon received a call from Children and Family Services in King County, Washington and was told that Cushing had remarried his first wife, Kristine.

Cushing was married to Kristine Cushing for 17 years. The couple had two daughters, (Amy and Stephanie) and lived in Laguna Niguel, California. Kristine filed for divorce in 1991 and began seeing a psychiatrist and taking Prozac that year.

While at home one night in October, Kristine shot and killed Amy (8) and Stephanie (4) with a .38-caliber handgun. She was found not guilty of the killings by reason of insanity.

John Cushing remarried Kristine in 2005. According to court documents, Sam and Stephen were introduced to Kristine and instructed by John Cushing not to mention her to Conlon.

Kristine Cushing’s psychiatrist learned of her living arrangement with the two boys and reported the matter to Child Protective Services. Conlon says that Kristine was ordered to avoid all contact with Sam and not to live with him.

Despite John Cushing’s claims to the contrary, Conlon found out in September 2007 that Sam had been visiting Kristine. In October, she discovered that Kristine was still living with John and Sam Cushing.

Conlon filed a motion to modify child custody and wants John Cushing to visit their sons in Oregon as long as he continues to live with Kristine. Mr. Cushing claims that Kristine was assessed by King County Mental Health Services and it was determined that she is “no threat to herself or others.” Conlon counters that Ms. Cushing received treatment in 2008 to “restabilize her mentally” and believes she may have been hospitalized. John and Christine Cushing divorced a second time in 2008 but they continue to live together.

King County Superior Court Judge William Downing has ordered an investigation into the welfare of Conlon’s sons and asked John Cushing to remove all firearms and weapons from his home, stop residing with Kristine Cushing if she fails to comply with the recommendations of her psychiatric treatment providers, and comply with any safety plans imposed by Child Protective Services. In the meantime, Sam will continue to live with Kristine Cushing. The court-appointed child advocate’s report on the findings of his investigation is due back in three months.

Source: ABC News, “Judge: Kids Can Live With Child-Killer, For Now,” Christina Caron, August 29, 2011

Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva Settle Child Custody Dispute

Mel Gibson and ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva settled their child custody dispute over their daughter Lucia on Friday. Los Angeles Superior Court issued a statement that the agreement was complete and the terms will be heard on August 31st.

Gibson and Grigorieva’s relationship began to unravel in early 2010 with accusations of domestic violence by Grigorieva. Grigorieva claimed that the “Braveheart” star punched her and broke her tooth during an argument in January that year. Gibson admitted that he slapped Grigorieva with an open hand, pled no contest, and was sentenced to three years probation.

Gibson accused Grigorieva of extortion by using audiotapes of insults and racial slurs that he hurled at her over the telephone. The tapes were later posted on Radaronline.com.

Source: Reuters Canada, “Mel Gibson, Oksana Grigorieva settle child custody,” Bob Tourtellotte and John O’Callaghan, August 27, 2011

Kentucky County Publishes List of “Deadbeat” Parents

A Louisville-area county published the names of 3,995 people who are delinquent with their child support payments in a local newspaper advertisement. This is the sixth year that Jefferson County has published a list in an effort collect child support.

Each year, the list of “deadbeat” parents leads to hundreds of phone calls and tips on the whereabouts of the listees. County Attorney Mike O’Connell says that last year’s list helped locate 4,000 people and collect $2.1 million in child support.

This year’s listees owe more than $88 million in child support. To make the list, a child support debtor must be at least six months delinquent and have a case being audited by the state. The County Attorney’s office has designated September as “Child Support Awareness Month.”

Source: Courier-Journal.com, “Names of 3,995 who owe back child support to be published Sunday,” Joseph Lord, August 26, 2011

San Antonio Woman Gets 25 Months for Child Support Scam

A San Antonio woman was sentenced to 25 months in prison for her role in a child support scam. Crystal Vigil Cervera pled guilty to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. She was ordered to pay $75,794 in restitution.

Cervera was involved in a scheme with fourteen people to divert money away from Texas child support recipients. Seven of the conspirators worked for Affiliated Computer Services, which has a state contract to issue debit cards to Texans that receive child support.

Prosecutors say that the suspects gave debit cards to friends, relatives, and associates and used the cards to buy things for themselves. At least $275,000 was diverted away from the program.

Source: My SA, “S.A. woman sentenced to 25-month term in child-support scam,” Guillermo Contreras, August 24, 2011

Kim Karshashian and Humphries Signed a Prenup

Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries signed a prenuptial agreement before they were married in Montecito on Saturday. Kardashian’s personal fortune is estimated at $35 million and Humphries is worth somewhere between $8 and $16 million.

Kardashian was recently featured on the cover of People magazine. The magazine reportedly paid $2.5 million for exclusive rights to the couple’s wedding pictures. The wedding cost $10 million.

Kim’s sister Khloe and brother-in-law Lamar Odom also signed a prenup before they were married. The agreement protects Odom’s $33 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, but allows Khloe access to a joint expense account that Odom funds. Khloe also receives an annual lump sum payment under their prenup.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Kim Kardashian, Kris Humphries have a prenup (Can you say ‘duh’?),” Matt Donnelly, August 24, 2011

Melissa Gilbert Files for Divorce

Melissa Gilbert filed for divorce from her husband Bruce Boxleitner on Monday. Gilbert and Boxleitner have been married for 16 years and announced their separation five months ago.

Gilbert’s divorce petition indicates that she is seeking spousal support and joint custody of the couple’s 15-year old son, Michael. Gilbert has one son from her previous marriage and Boxleitner has two from his.

Gilbert starred on the television show “Little House on the Prairie” while Boxleitner is best known for his roles on “Scarecrow and Mrs. King” and “Babylon 5” as well as the 1982 film “TRON.”

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Melissa Gilbert files for divorce from Bruce Boxleitner,” Christie D’Zurilla, August 26, 2011

Former NBA Star Sampson Arrested Over Child Support

Ralph Sampson, former star player for the Houston Rockets, has been arrested in connection with issues concerning child support, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Sampson’s driver license was suspended after he failed to make child support payments. He was pulled over outside Atlanta when a police officer saw that the registration on his car had expired. Sampson is out of jail and says that his arrest had nothing to do with child support.

Sampson was a dominant force at the University of Virginia and was the Houston Rockets’ top draft pick. He helped lead the Rockets to the NBA finals during the 1985-86 season and made the All-Star team four times. Sampson played in the NBA for nine seasons.

Source: NBC Sports, “Former NBA star Ralph Sampson arrested over child support,” Kurt Helin, August 25, 2011

Child Abuse Survivor in Child Custody Tug-of-War

An eleven-year-old survivor of one of the most extreme cases of child abuse is at the center of a custody battle as a Miami judge decides where to send the boy.

Victor Barahona and his twin sister Nubia were placed in the care of Carmen and Jorge Barahona in March 2004 at the age of four when their biological parents were stripped of custody following allegations of domestic violence. The children’s situation hardly improved, as authorities say the Barahonas subjected them to starvation, beatings, and medical neglect and tied them up and forced them to live in a bathtub.

On February 14th, Jorge Barahona was found unconscious by police near his pickup truck on the side of Interstate 95. Victor was found in the front seat of the truck, saturated with toxic chemicals. Police also discovered the naked, decomposing body of Victor’s sister Nubia in a garbage bag in the truck’s bed. Carmen and Jorge Barahona have been charged with aggravated child abuse and first degree murder.

Victor was sent to Texas in June and has spent most of the summer there visiting his uncle and his large extended family. Victor’s uncle, who tried unsuccessfully to obtain custody of the twins when they were removed from their parents in 2004, has asked state child welfare administrators to allow him to adopt the boy.

Standing in the way of a new life for Victor in Texas is the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office, which has been declared a party to the child custody dispute. Sources say that prosecutors fear that Victor’s uncle may refuse to return him to Miami to testify at the Barahonas’ trial.

Richard Gelles, dean of the Department of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, said, “I have never seen the criminal justice system walk across the street and insert itself in a dependency court action.” “It is neither reasonable nor appropriate to hold this poor child’s future hostage in service to the criminal trial,” he added.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Maria Sampedro-Iglesia will decide whether Victor may return to Texas to live with his family or must stay in Miami.

Source: The Miami Herald, “Child abuse survivor now in custody tug-of-war,” Carol Marbin Miller, August 18, 2011

Colorado State Professor Jailed for Contempt in Child Custody Fight

An assistant professor of agriculture at Colorado State University was jailed for contempt of court in a child custody dispute.

Catherine Keske, 40, was ordered to serve 90 days in jail after her ex-husband, Jeffrey Handley, complained that she interfered with his ability to communicate with one of their sons. Handley alleged that Keske failed to provide the boy with a cell phone and an unmonitored email account.

However, Keske only spent four days in jail. The couple has been embroiled in a bitter divorce and child custody battle, each of whom has custody of one of their two sons.

Source: The Denver Channel.com, “CSU Prof. Jailed 4 Days In Custody Battle,” Alan Gathright, August 22, 2011