It seems Charlie Sheen
so wants four of his children from two ex-wives living closer to him and each other that he is willing to purchase homes for baby mamas Denise Richards and Brooke Mueller in the gated Los Angeles community
off Mulholland Drive.
In most circumstances, having kids of divorce living nearby both parents is in the best interests of the children, say some family law attorneys who spoke with AOL Real Estate
. In the case of Sheen
-- pictured left, fresh out of rehab -- who has had a marital home with Mueller (see 20-plus photos in gallery
) on the market for about a year and a half now, the ex-wives might want to take some precautions.
Now, all issues aside with how much more exposed the young Sheen children might be to his alleged cocaine-binging weekends
with porn stars who tweet for-mature-audiences-only images
from his living room, "when you have small children in elementary school, the closer they live to each parent the easier it is on the children," says marital and family law attorney Roberta Stanley
, a partner at Brinkley Morgan
in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
"When they start first grade, they forget their homework, they forget their book. If you live within a reasonable distance from each other you can just call the other parent and say 'Can I come and pick up the tennis
shoes? She forgot them today.'" Under 30 minutes away is what Stanley sees as being within reasonable proximity.
Sheen, a 45-year-old dad to two daughters with Richards (Sam, 5; and Lola, 4) and with Mueller
twin boys, Max and Bob who will turn two in March, is "willing to front the costs of the two houses, plus whatever moving expenses the women incur," reported TMZ
. (No word as to what he's doing for his 20something oldest daughter from a previous marriage.)
After Sheen and Mueller split in 2009, they put their 4,179-square-foot Mediterranean-style marital home on the market for $3.697 million, the Los Angeles Times reported
at the time. The price of the four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath home has since dropped to $3.55 million
. It is currently listed with Marty Trugman
of Coldwell Banker.
Even though Sheen can't yet seem to unload the 1927-built home
, it seems he'd still rather move his exes close to him than into that home. Perhaps that says a lot about his love for his children.
For divorced parents who live near each other, "visitations are a lot more feasible and manageable, and the participation of the children and their parents in school and community activities can also be managed more effectively," says Decatur, Ga.-based psychotherapist Dr. Joyce Morley
. "[However], if divorced parents are going to effectively maintain residences in close proximity of each other, for the sake of their children, they must have resolved their anger, internal pain, hurt, and practice forgiveness for and with each other." If not, she says, close living arrangements will be more of a liability for the children than an asset.
If Sheen's exes don't harbor resentment over his shenanigans and choose to bow to his request, his obligation shouldn't end with a purchase and moving expenses, says Stanley. After all, there's a lot of maintenance and property taxes to consider on a larger home that might not fit the budget of these women, but could more easily be afforded by this "Two and a Half Men" TV star. He makes $1.25 million per episode for the CBS sitcom that went on a brief hiatus after Sheen was hospitalized in January and is reportedly now undergoing home rehab following the Jan. 27 party incident where he was carried out of his Los Angeles home on a stretcher and taken to the hospital. The show's production is set to resume Feb. 28.
"There will need to be some agreement where he has some obligation to pay for repairs, maintenance, utility bills, the lawn, and the pool and all the things," Stanley says, adding that however the ex-wives should not have to personally turn to Sheen every time they need carpet replaced or plumbing fixed. "There would be a third party to review
those bills to say if they are reasonable. You don't want someone changing wall paper every year."
And then there's consideration of what happens once the kids have grown up and moved out. Although it is possible the ex-wives would just retain ownership of the home, but forgo the maintenance help, that's not as likely as using it to pay for their retirement, she says. "My guess is when the kids graduate high school that they will not retain the residence, but they can sell it."
If the moms can work that out, that would be a pretty good deal, especially if it means putting the households of the mothers on a more equal footing with Dad's. "If Dad has a whole lot of money and a big mansion
and you have a little shack," that will have an effect on the kids, Stanley says.
One thing other moms who might find themselves in this type of situation should remember is, "Just because he bought the house that doesn't mean he gets to come in and out." And when we're talking about Charlie Sheen, that phrase could take on more than one meaning.
Sheree R. Curry, who is divorced and lives 20 minutes away from her children's father, is a three-time award-winning journalist who has covered real estate for six years. During her 20-year career, her articles have appeared regularly in the
Wall Street Journal,
TV Week, and Fortune. She's been writing for AOL Real Estate since 2009 from a Minneapolis-area rental. She seeks a book publisher -- or at least a lender who'll give a reasonable mortgage rate to a self-employed
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