Co-parenting can be complicated for couples not in a relationship, and celebs are not exempt. Michael Strahan is one celeb who knows this all too well with four children from two different women.
Michael Strahan and Wanda Hutchins got married in 1992. This was Michael's first marriage, producing two children; Michael Junior and Tanita. Michael and Wanda got divorced in 1996 and co-parented their children.
It was not long until Michael met and married Jean Muggli in 1999. The couple was married for a short while before they welcomed twin daughters Isabella and Sophia in 2004. However, this relationship didn't work out either.
TV personality Michael Strahan during an interview on January 17, 2019 on "Late Night With Seth Meyers" | Source: Getty Images
One year after Isabella and Sophia were born, Michael and Jean separated. As soon as Michael filed for divorce, Jean began making accusations against him, saying he had twice been violent towards her.
The claims were taken very seriously and brought to court. However, just as quickly as the statements were made, they were retracted for reasons unknown to the public.
Michael denied the rumors and made it clear that he ensured never to be physically or psychologically harmful toward his family, especially his wife. Soon after, Jean said that Michael had never been violent toward her.
Michael Strahan and wife Jean attend the Esquire Apartment Launch in 2003 | Source: Getty Images
Because of what he went through during his marriages and divorces from both his wives, Michael spoke out about divorce affected him. Michael shared his thoughts on the divorces he experienced, saying:
"Personally, getting divorced is probably one of the toughest things I've ever gone through, but it was also a learning experience, and I learned a lot about myself."
Jean and Michael's divorce was finalized in 2006, with Jean receiving $15.3 million and $18,000 a month in child support. However, once Michael retired from the NFL in 2008, the child support payments were reduced to $13,000 monthly.
MICHAEL KEPT A STRONG BOND WITH HIS KIDS
Although neither of his marriages worked out, Michael ensured that his relationships with his kids remained intact. He mentioned that he didn't think the responsibility for raising children should fall solely on his ex-wives' shoulders.
Michael wanted to be a responsible father, although he was no longer in a relationship with his children's mothers, which led him to make his children the center of his world. He said:
"I think a lot of times when you split, people assume that the mother is supposed to take responsibility for the kids. But from day one, it was very important for me to be active, to be a part of their life."
MICHAEL AND JEAN'S CUSTODY BATTLE WAS ONGOING
Michael Strahan with daughters Isabella Strahan and Sophia Strahan attend The 76th Annual Father Of The Year Awards at New York Hilton on June 15, 2017 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
While Michael and Jean settled the custody battle over Isabella and Sophia in 2009, ten years later, the former NFL star had to go back to court again to plead his case in terms of the battle. The pair had renewed custody issues to focus on.
Jean went back to court to seek back support, claiming that Michael had not fulfilled all of the obligations set out in their 2009 custody agreement. However, Michael's team revealed that she simply wanted to increase monthly payments.
While Michael is no longer an NFL player, he has a lucrative career as the host of "Good Morning America" and two other ABC shows. This allows Michael to pay the child support for his children.
However, in 2019, Michael asked for someone to mediate the conflict between himself and Jean and said he would pay 90% of the bill for this professional. It was only after he felt Jean was abusing the arrangement that he asked that they split the bill.
What brought the couple to conflict more often than not was the fact that Michael felt that Jean was being uncooperative when it came to their twins. He claimed that she was not adhering to visitation rights or their plan for where their girls would attend school.
Michael has also brought other allegations against Jean, saying she is physically and emotionally abusive to their children. He also claimed that his daughters have been missing their sporting obligations because of their mother. However, this was not the most severe allegation he made against his ex-wife.
Another allegation that Michael brought against Jean to indicate that she was not fit to parent their daughters was that the girls had been missing court-ordered therapy sessions because of their mother.
This led Michael to want to change their custody arrangement entirely and change what he would owe Jean monthly in child support. He pursued this new arrangement with urgency.
The former NFL player has said that he wants his daughters to move to New York, where they will live with him. He said that Jean could have the same visitation rights he had but nothing more.
This would then allow Michael to stop paying child support payments to Jean, as his daughters would be in his care more often than they would be in Jean's. Co-parenting their children was no longer an option.
While Michael could effectively co-parent with Wanda Hutchins, it was much more challenging to do so with Jean. The court documents detailed the arrangement saying that co-parenting for them was "time-consuming, full of conflict, and unrealistic."
The case that Michael made against Jean was eventually dismissed, but it has been said that the case was only dismissed because Jean complied with everything that Michael required from her.
Jean and the two girls moved into an Upper West Side apartment where they could live until the girls completed their schooling careers in New York. In this way, they could also be closer to Michael more often. However, the pair still do not agree on everything.
While Jean's sources say that Michael refuses to pay the child support he owes to Jean, Michael's sources claim that he is willing to pay the fees, but Jean will not accept them. Either way, Michael continues not to pay child support.
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