NAMES IN THE NEWS : TV's Birneys Cut 'Family Ties,' File for Divorce After 15 Years

From Times wire services

Actress Meredith Baxter Birney, the architect mom on television's "Family Ties," and her husband of 15 years, actor David Birney, said they are experiencing "tough days" and have filed for divorce, their publicist said today.

Divorce papers were filed in Los Angeles on Tuesday, associate publicist Lynn Heiden said. The couple, who live in Santa Monica, released a joint statement, saying: "These are tough days. We intend to continue caring for the children even though the marriage will not continue."

Baxter Birney's primary project is "Family Ties," while Birney is filming a CBS Movie of the Week with Stefanie Powers. The couple's children include Kate, 14, and twins Peter and Mollie, 4, as well as Ted, 21, and Eva, 20, Baxter Birney's children from her first marriage.

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