Another celebrity marriage has hit the rocks: Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller have filed for divorce.  As sad as this is, we economists can tell that Charlie and/or his lawyers are good negotiators.  His divorce filing (page 27) requires that:

“In no event and under circumstances shall the child support paid by Charlie for Bob and Max [his kids with Brooke] be less than the child support paid by Charlie to Denise Richards for Sam and Lola……  The sum received by Denise for child support shall be the minimum received by Brooke for Bob and Max.”

This is all dressed with the claim that Denise has higher earning potential than Brooke.  But so what?  Brooke and her kids are in great shape even if Denise and her kids are in better shape.  Envy has to be playing a role.  But more cynically, Charlie benefits: If Denise asks for more money, he can refuse saying he’d also have to pay more to Brooke and he simply cannot afford it, given his expensive watch buying habit.  Also, Brooke is going to negotiate less hard for more money in the future, hoping Denise does the hard work.

So that brings us to Denise – I am not a legal expert but is it O.K. to mention a contract with Denise in a contract with Brooke without Denise agreeing to it?  Denise should really sue to have this clause removed.  It definitely hurts her in future negotiations.  Denise, if you need an expert witness, I am right here.