Bill O'Reilly and Maureen McPhilmy divorced Sept. 1, 2011, and agreed to joint custody of their two children. According to the agreement, each of them would keep the children, age 10 and 13, in alternating weeks.
The agreement, reached upon their separation in 2010, also included a clause appointing a therapist to act as a neutral moderator should there be any disputes about parenting. McPhilmy brought legal action against O'Reilly in October 2011 after learning that O'Reilly had hired the court-appointed neutral arbiter to work full-time at his home, more or less as a nanny. He was paying her a six-figure salary, according to McPhilmy's attorney. An appellate court judge ruled that the hiring of the therapist potentially undermined the agreement the couple had reached. The court also appointed an attorney for the couple's children.
Gawker.com reported that, in the wake of the divorce, O'Reilly convinced the Nassau County Police Department to launch an internal affairs investigation of the police detective who McPhilmy married after the split. The website also suggests that O'Reilly was behind disciplinary action the Catholic Church took against McPhilmy. The church reprimanded McPhilmy for taking Communion despite having been divorced and remarried. It also warned her of harsher measures if she did not stop telling her children that her marriage to the detective is valid in God's eyes.