On August 31st the Courthouse News Service announced that a California appeals court affirmed the lower court ruling that “Two and a Half Men” star Jon Cryer must keep paying ex-wife actress Sarah Trigger Cryer $8,000 a month in child support, even though the child is in Jon’s custody,
Sarah also had a child with David, her next husband. That marriage ended in divorce after Sarah was arrested for allegedly choking her two-year-old son.
Child Protective Services placed both children with their respective fathers. Subsequently, the Court reduced Sarah’s timeshare to near zero and ordered supervised visitation with her children.
Jon asked the Court to reduce his $120,000 voluntary child support settlement agreement to zero. Jon correctly, but unsuccessfully, argued that the money he paid should be put in a trust account for the child since it appeared Sarah was using it to pay her attorney rather than to support their son .
Later that year the court ordered Jon to pay Sarah $96,000 per year, even though $14,000 and change is California’s child support “Guideline” amount.
The court deviated from the Guideline because; (1) it would be in the “child’s best interest” for the child’s mom to have a place to live in if and when a reunification process occurs, and (2) dad could easily afford to still pay $96,000 which was a pittance compared to his $5.7 million a year salary.
Jon was also ordered to pay $20,000 of Sarah’s attorney fees. He was ordered to pay another $5,000 of her attorney fees after losing a motion for an accounting of monies paid Sarah since nothing in law requires a parent to account for how child support is spent.
After several more hearings, the court maintained it was in the best interests of the child for Sarah to continue receiving support so she would have a home for their son to return to.
Jon was ordered to pay another $40,000 for Sarah’s attorney fees.
It appears the appeals court very selectively cited and misconstrued certain Family Code sections which supported the lower courts findings while omitting (or ignoring) other sections which supported Jon’s requested outcomes. *
The court basically said “give the poor woman some money, you have more than enough and can easily afford it”.
In the future this appellate opinion may be used to argue that any non custodial parent (especially mothers) should be entitled to the custodial parent’s earnings for no other reason than some unknown time in the future the non custodial parent may have to provide a home for a child.
It might also be used to argue that a deviation from the Guideline is appropriate merely under the child’s best interest because the court has broad discretion and the child should have similar standards of living regardless of which parent is the higher wage earner.
Justice Roger Boren said for the three-judge panel, “The court properly found that special circumstances existed, and its ruling was consistent with the objective of protecting the child’s best interest… understandably, Jon may have found the situation unfair, the primary focus must remain on the child’s well-being, not the parents’ feelings.”
CBS news reported Jon feared Sarah hired a hit man to kill him. She was arrested for child abuse (neglect). It certainly appears Sarah committed serious criminal acts; acts for which an activist court rewarded her thousands of dollars a month in alimony transparently disguised as child support. Jon is charged with no wrongdoing yet has to pay an abusive woman thousands of dollars a month dressed as “best interests of children”.
If and when reunification takes place there will be sufficient advance notice to allow Jon to resume making support payments Until then, Sarah can get a job or two and support herself, which is what Jon would have to do if roles were reversed.
In fact, the court ordered Sarah to find a paycheck besides Jon. I’d be doing volunteer work in the Bahamas if the State gave me $8,000 a month. Get a job? I don’t think so.
Thankfully, if their son is emancipated or reaches the age of majority and never spends more than 4% of his time in the custody of his mother, the court will definitely order Sarah to refund the hundreds of thousands of dollars in child support [sic] Jon wrongfully paid (with interest). Sure, and I have three heads, invented the Internet, and Charley Sheen parties in my storage shed.
Were Jon Sarah and Sarah Jon, Jon would be in jail and Sarah would pay him nothing.
We need to stop rewarding perpetrators because they are women and stop punishing victims because they are men. Is treating people fairly regardless of gender really to much to ask?
And, how about David, Sarah’s other husband? Is he shelling out too, even though he has custody of the son Sarah allegedly choked? How much should she be rewarded for rope burns around the child’s neck?
Here, the Court’s flawed decisions have little to do with a parent’s “feelings”, or the “well-being” of anyone except for misandric feminists, their myopic “politically correct” supporters, maybe Sarah, the high paid attorneys, and a judicial system dependent upon fueling conflict rather than reducing anguish; but certainly not children, fathers, families, or the State of California.
*The appellate court’s “analysis” very selectively cited “some” of policies of FC 4053 (subd. (a),(d),(e), which supported the ordered outcome), but omitted others (subd. (b),(c),(j),(k),(l), which cut against the ordered outcome), and misconstrued one into something other than what it says (FC 4053(f)).