It’s easy to envy the life of a celebrity, but not so when it comes to relationship success. Star couples tend to have a much higher divorce rate than average couples. And because of how much money celebs typically have, their divorces tend to get incredibly messy.
That’s what’s happening with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The A-list couple filed for divorce nearly five years ago and are reportedly on track to have the most expensive Hollywood divorce of all time. What went wrong?
Brad Meets Angelina
“Brangelina” met while filming the movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith in 2004. Their chemistry playing a married couple who both turned out to be assassins hired to kill the other was palpable. Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston at the time.
Jolie was no stranger to marriage, having been divorced twice already by the time she met Brad. Her most recent divorce was with Billy Bob Thorton, who left her in 2002 shortly after they adopted a Cambodian child, Maddox.
After seven years together, Pitt and Aniston called it quits in 2005, unleashing a frenzied Team Jen and Team Angelina rivalry in the media and on the internet. Jolie was pitched as the mistress, but both ladies have always strenuously denied that Pitt was ever unfaithful.
Things seemed to be going pretty well for Brangelina over the next decade. The couple had a “rainbow” family together with a total of six children. They eventually got married in 2014 in an intimate ceremony in France. Just two years later, it was over.
Trouble in Paradise
In September 2016, Jolie filed for divorce in California, citing irreconcilable differences. She requested sole physical custody of their six kids and asked the judge to grant Pitt visitation rights. Her attorney told the press that her decision to leave Pitt was “for the health of the family.”
Numerous details about the divorce started to surface. A source close to the couple told Us Weekly that the pair “fought a lot over the years” and had disagreements on parenting. They also reportedly fought over their “schedules and politics.”
TMZ reported that Pitt had allegedly gotten physical with one of his children. The details of what exactly had happened were “murky.” It was speculated that Maddox Jolie-Pitt had stepped in to verbally stand up for his mother during a fight on the family’s private jet and that Pitt had lost his temper. Sources claim Pitt “was drunk” at the time.
Following the incident on the jet, People magazine reported that Brad was being investigated for child abuse allegations by the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services. Even the FBI got involved at some point. Pitt was eventually cleared of all allegations, and the child abuse investigation was closed.
In February 2017, Jolie spoke out about the divorce for the first time during an interview with BBC World News. She said it has been a “very difficult time,” but they will always be a family and she hopes they will be “a stronger family for it.”
In 2018, it was revealed that Jolie had reportedly agreed to give Brad access to the children through a temporary child custody agreement, but they were still working towards a full divorce settlement. Towards the end of that year, Jolie accused Pitt of not paying child support since the split. He countered by saying he had actually loaned her $8 million and gave her an additional $1.3 million for bills. Jolie’s attorneys told People magazine, “a loan is not child support.”
Child Custody Conflicts Begin
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s child custody trial started in December 2018. There were reports that Angelina was no longer seeking sole custody, but those claims turned out to be false. In December 2020, court proceedings started in Los Angeles over legal custody for the five youngest children: Pax, 17; Zahara, 16; Shiloh, 15; and 12-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne. Maddox was excluded as he is now 19 and therefore legally an adult.
The child custody battle lasted several months, and Brad was ultimately granted joint custody in late May 2021. The court made the decision after listening to testimony from everyone involved in the case, including professionals who spent time with the kids. It marked a breakthrough for the couple’s divorce proceedings, but there is still a long way to go.
Jolie was “bitterly disappointed” by the custody decision, sources indicate. She immediately appealed the decision. An appeal custody hearing, which will be heard by a three-justice panel, is scheduled for July 9, 2021.
It has taken nearly five years and $1 million each in legal fees for Brangelina to reach this point. So far, only joint custody that has been sorted out. The pair still haven’t even begun to split up their combined assets, including the French vineyard and estate, Chateau Miraval, which they reportedly bought together for $60 million. They became legally single in April 2019.
For now, Angelina is based in Los Angeles. She told Harper’s Bazaar that she eventually intends to move away. She’s only remaining in California until her kids turn 18 because it’s where Brad chooses to live.
There is speculation that the legal fight could continue for at least six more years and rack up millions more in legal fees. Hopefully, both parties will be satisfied in the end.
Need Help With Your California Divorce?
Maybe you’re in a similar position as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, but with much smaller stakes—at least financially. But having more standard finances doesn’t make the divorce process any less stressful, especially if there is domestic violence or child abuse involved.
Depending on whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, you still have a mountain of paperwork you need to fill out to finalize your divorce. You have to deal with property division, alimony, child support, and child custody if you have minor children.
It’s a lot of work, but the good news is that it can all be done online. With the help of A People’s Choice, you can complete your California divorce in record time. Our team of legal document assistants can help you through each step of the process for a flat fee that starts from just $624. Call us today to get started!
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