(CN) – Actor Jon Cryer must keep paying his ex-wife $8,000 a month in child support, even though the child is in his custody, a California appeals court ruled.
The “Two and a Half Men” star and Sarah Trigger Cryer divorced in 2006, and both remarried. Sarah initially had primary custody of the couple’s son, and Jon agreed to pay $10,000 a month in child support.
Sarah, a struggling actress, had a child with her second husband, but that marriage also ended in divorce. Both of her children were placed with their respective fathers after her youngest son was hurt in her home.
Cryer petitioned the court to cancel his child support obligation, but his ex-wife argued that the monthly payments were not a burden on Jon since it constituted just 3 percent of his income. Noting that child support was her only significant source of income, Sarah claimed she would lose her house and car and be unable to pay other bills without that money.
The family court ordered Cryer to keep paying $10,000 a month in child support throughout 2009, but lowered the obligation to $8,000 a month beginning in January 2010.
California’s Second Appellate District in Los Angeles upheld the ruling Monday.
“We find that the family court did not abuse its discretion by declining to order a more severe reduction of child support,” Justice Roger Boren said for a 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.”
“Although, understandably, Jon may have found the situation unfair, the primary focus must remain on the child’s well-being, not the parents’ feelings,” he added.
Cryer will appear this fall on the ninth season of “Two and a Half Men,” with Ashton Kutcher stepping in as the other male lead on the top-rated CBS sitcom in place of Charlie Sheen.
Sarah has not acted professionally since 2005. Her notable credits include “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey” and the TV series “Turks” and “EZ Streets.”