Michael Strahan's twin daughters were 'almost certainly impacted' by custody case & now face new challenge, says expert | The Sun

MICHAEL Strahan’s twins look set for added difficulty following their parent's messy custody war, a psychologist has said.

And she thinks that while Sophia and Isabella appear happy-go-lucky on their Instagram feeds, other painful separations lie ahead.

Michael, 51, and his ex-wife Jean Muggli, 57, have been embroiled in a public custody battle over child support and living arrangements for their twin daughters.

The U.S. Sun revealed the nasty case had finally ended earlier this week.

It's been a long time coming – the former GMA host filed for divorce from Jean in 2006, and they separated a year after the twins were born.

In 2007, according to the New York Post, the former NFL star was said to have been asked to pay Jean $15.3 million in the divorce and $18,000 child support.

Previously, court filings also showed the involvement of a parent coordinator, plus further difficulties surrounding payments, despite the pair settling custody in 2020.

According to Page Six, court documents had shown that Michael would split custody with Jean and that Sophia and Isabella would spend alternate weeks living with each.

Now, the twins look to be continuing to live in Manhattan, where they attend separate private schools.

Their mom previously agreed to move to New York, where she now has an apartment.

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In an exclusive interview, licensed psychologist, Dr. Danielle Forshee told The U.S. Sun: “The twin's custody case is closed.

"But because they had a parent coordinator, that shows how high the conflict was and that this case was highly litigated.

“A parent coordinator is appointed by the court to make decisions in the best interest of the children.

"This is because the parents can't make those decisions together.

“This tells me just how terrible of a situation that was, and that really does very significantly impact kids.

“If kids know their parents cannot make decisions for them – such as whether to and which activities to enroll their kids in – it leaves kids in a position of triangulation," notes Dr. Forshee, who has had no involvement in the case and has not examined the girls.

Dr. Forshee continues: “This means they can feel like they're stuck between their parents and they don't know what side to take

“They also don’t know if they should take a side.

“Usually, kids end up taking a side to rid themselves of any anxieties and fears, or the stress that they have in the situation.

“The twins were most certainly impacted by this custody case and specifically because they had a parent coordinator.

“Hopefully they maintain their sibling relationship despite the problems with their parents."

Growing up as identical twins presents a unique set of challenges for Sophia and Isabella.

Dr. Forshee says: “In the next stage of development for the twins, it’s customary for one to get into a romantic relationship and even settle down.

“Intimate relationships and careers are the next phases that they're going into.

“These will bring the next impact for the twins in their unique relationship.

"It can change the dynamic of a twinship.

"When one of the parties starts to put more emotional energy and time into another relationship, it takes something away."

So far, Isabella and Sophia appear to have been bravely weathering the storm amid their parent's lengthy court battles.

The teen's Instagram feeds showcase their fun-loving lifestyle packed with everything that a typical 18-year-old would enjoy.

The pair have shared photos of themselves out partying and vacationing with friends.

Sophia and Isabella are also seen confidently showing off their stunning figures in bikinis, as well as their favorite fashion styles.

But our expert notes that as twins, they may have challenging times ahead as Sophia and Isabella begin to mature further.

“The twins look to have grown up together and would have likely spent a lot of time together as kids,” adds Dr. Forshee, a licensed clinical social worker and parent coordinator.

“It looks like they dress the same and their hair is the same.

“In one post that Sophia has of when she was little with her mom and her sister, they're dressed identically.

“In another photo, as teenagers, the twins continue to dress very similarly.

"There’s something magical about twins in terms of them being so alike.

"But it makes it more difficult as they grow up, especially around the age that Isabella and Sophia are.

“It’s normal for them to start to explore their sense of independence and develop a sense of themselves and who they are.

“They’re going to be seeing where they fit into the world, their purpose, what they want to be, where they want to go, and what they want to do.

“There’s probably some pressure on them in terms of what society expects twins to be like.

“Interestingly, twins are usually very different individuals, despite the fact that they just happen to be born at the same time.

“And so there's that additional pressure for these twins that impacts their ability to separate or differentiate themselves.

“They look the same but that doesn't have anything to do with their personality, their interests, their likes, their character, or their life experiences.

“It's complicated for twins because there's that struggle there for them also in how things will work out.”

As Isabella looks set to become a model, she has already been testing the waters over the past year.

She made her catwalk debut at the Sherri Hill fashion show last April while Michael showered her with praise on Instagram

“Very proud of you, @isabellastrahan, for crushing your first runway this weekend for @sherrihill!!!!" he wrote.

"As a parent, there's nothing like watching your child succeed at what they love with a smile on their face! #ProudDad#GirlDad,”Strahan said while captioning a video of his daughter’s impressive day.

Michael then took Isabella on to model a padded jacket from MSX for his own NFL range.

While Sophia appears to be heading off to study at Duke University.

Although this has yet to be confirmed, she'd updated her Instagram bio in December with: "nyc / duke ‘27."

Dr. Forshee adds: “It's always difficult when you have a parent that's in the spotlight like Michael, because that naturally puts the kids in it as well.

"The twins are trying to explore for themselves and figure out who they are and how to become independent.

"Sometimes kids start doing things that they think their parents want them to do.

"They might follow in their parent's footsteps instead of following their own internal compass and exploring alternatives.

“Otherwise, if the twins have disagreements, the best thing Michael can do is not take sides.

"If either of his girls comes to him with any kind of problem, or complains, then Dad needs to be listening neutrally.

"Dad needs to be empathizing through issues, and directing his daughter to go and manage it with the other one.

"He needs to be as supportive as possible with both of his daughters.

"When they both find a romantic partner it might be difficult for them.

"So that would need guidance from Michael as well.

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“Being twins means having a built-in partner for life.

"But it also brings added challenges for twins when they find new ones."

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