Brooke Mueller and Charlie Sheen
Just hours after Brooke Mueller filed a restraining order
against Charlie Sheen on Tuesday, police were on the actor's doorstep to return the couple's sons to their mom – and for now Sheen is barred from having contact with his ex and their kids.
So, how did it all happen so quickly and what's next in the brewing custody battle between the exes? An expert weighs in to answer those questions and more.
How were Sheen's sons taken away so quickly?
"If a judge receives credible evidence that a person poses a threat to another parent or their children, they grant restraining orders first and ask questions later, to err on the side of caution," says L.A. family lawyer Scott Weston, who's not involved with the case.
In addition, Sheen had allegedly violated the prior custody arrangement with Mueller by taking the kids when it wasn't his turn and withheld them from her, according to her filing.
Given Mueller's own struggle with sobriety, could the twins end up in protective custody?
"Unless the L.A. Dept. of Children and Family Services receives a legitimate complaint about Mueller or Sheen files evidence that the kids are at risk with her, the judge won't have a reason to be concerned," Weston says. "If both parents are seen as unfit, a judge would then likely place the boys with a relative, such as Mueller's mother. Protective custody is always a court's last resort."
What's next in the case?
Both Sheen and Mueller are expected to show up in court on March 22 so a judge can determine whether to extend the restraining order. If Sheen intends to battle Mueller for custody as he's claimed, he'll likely gather evidence and witnesses to prove to the court that he's the better parent.
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