Custody Questions

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Instead of wrestling over their $400 million fortune – thanks to a bulletproof pre-nup – Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are reportedly preparing to fight for custody of their 6 children.

Our Emma Pearmaine, Director of Family Services based in Leeds, explores the latest updates in Brangelina’s controversial divorce and the toll the battle for custody will take on the parents and their children.

Reports have also suggested that Brad hasn’t seen his children in over a week, as well as Angelina blocking his numbers and ignoring any messages from him. “He is beside himself” an insider revealed to the Daily Mail. “He was completely caught off guard and blindsided and had no idea she would do this.”

Doing it for the kids

The couple, who have only been married for 2 years, accumulated the majority of their wealth and properties before they got married, making the division of their finances and assets pretty straightforward.

Tensions are, however, building over questions of which parent the children will live with after Angelina asked for sole physical custody – and joint legal custody – of all 6 children in her divorce papers.

A source informed the Daily Mail that the divorce has apparently been in the pipeline for weeks, as Angelina had sourced and organised a home – costing $95,000 a month – for her and her 6 children to live in.

Physical versus legal custody

So what’s the difference between physical and legal custody? Parents who have legal custody over their children can make choices relating to their children’s education, religion, medical care, and so on. Any parent who has physical custody over their children has the right to have their children living with them.

  • “This might seem simple on paper, but it’s tough in practice as a lot of these decisions are interrelated”, says Emma.

“Parents have different styles and methods of parenting and there’s a chance that these can conflict, which can be really confusing and unsettling for their children.”

Multiple reports have suggested that Brad is desperate to see his kids, after being kept away from them since news about the divorce hit the press. As a result of accusations made over the nature of his parenting, he’s also being investigated by the authorities concerning alleged child abuse. One of the allegations involves Brad getting drunk on a private jet whilst travelling with his family as well as arguing with his eldest son, Maddox.

“He knows the severity of the allegations and wants to be cleared of abuse before he sees them”, an inside source revealed. “The kids are asking to see Brad, so he is hoping to see them next week.”

Emma comments:

“To minimise the impact this divorce will have on their children, Brad and Angelina need to put their issues aside and consider what’s best for their children. Parents may want to play tug of war with their children during divorce proceedings, and often this is done without thinking about the emotional and psychological damaged that they’re inflicting on them.”

“Brad and Angelina have 3 biological and 3 adopted children, and determining who gets custody is going to be complicated. For example, Angelina and Brad both travel for their work and rely on having a support network around them to care for their children. They each have different ideas on what makes good parenting. Ultimately, the court will have to decide who can best meet the children’s emotional and physical needs and that could mean joint custody or custody to one parent with access to the other.”

“It’s really tragic that the kids haven’t seen Brad at all since the divorce was announced. If the accusations made about his treatment of the kids are proven true, he’s going to have to think carefully about how he is going to demonstrate to the courts that he can meet his children’s needs whilst they are in his care.”

“If he’s cleared of them, whoever was responsible for making the allegations could find themselves in hot water as they’ve separated a father from his children at one of the most difficult times in their lives.”

Written by Emma Pearmaine

For more information on family law and the services offered by Simpson Millar, please call

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