Brangelina Divorce

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The news that the celebrity couple known affectionately as Brangelina have split is causing shockwaves across the world.

Seen as the perfect celebrity family, having been together for 12 years, they seamlessly juggled married life, parenthood, and work, and have been role models for many couples.  

So what key issues will Brad and Angelina need to resolve over the coming weeks?

Our Emma Pearmaine, Director of Family Services, investigates what is quickly becoming a complex and bitter divorce.

Custody battles

One of the most debated aspects of the Pitt-Jolie divorce is the fate of their 6 children. Angelina has already said that she wants custody of their children because she doesn’t agree with Brad’s parenting style.

Parents often disagree on how to discipline and parent their children, but the most important thing is that they meet their children’s essential needs, albeit in different ways and with different approaches.

Emma comments:

“It’s essential for children to maintain a close and loving relationship with both parents. As long as the children have some structure, they are usually quite adaptable”.

Brangelina should think about mediating and settling on a parenting agreement that gives their brood the chance to spend lots of time with both of them, whilst maintaining as much stability as possible.

If they can’t come to an agreement and the courts get involved, it can all become very distressing for the children, especially when it’s a public break up such as this.

Supporting the kids

Angelina has also said that she doesn’t want any financial support from Brad. With a combined net worth of around $400million, both Brad and Angelina won’t have to worry about whether they can meet their children’s financial needs as well as supporting themselves post-divorce.

Discussing the finances of the case, Emma says:

“Regardless of Angelina’s comments, Brad is equally responsible for his children and it’s important for him to contribute to their maintenance.”

“By refusing a financial contribution, Angelina is reinforcing a message that she and the children don’t need him anymore. That surely can’t be a good message for their children”.

For many separated parents, agreeing on maintenance for their children is key to being able to meet everybody’s needs in the future, and they usually have to pay or accept maintenance payments.

Even though this might create a lot of financial pressure for both parents, it does at least demonstrate a commitment to working together to bring up their children, even whilst living separately.

Divide and conquer

So what about Brangelina’s assets – how will they split them? Do they have a pre-nup that sets out how to split everything they own, or will they have to come to an agreement on who keeps what?

Emma explains:

“If they were divorcing in England or Wales, then as they’ve had a short marriage this would suggest that they should each keep what they contributed and split what they gained whilst together, although their years of cohabitation and the needs of the children could impact on that.”

For many couples, this would include considering what to do with their family home. Most couples live together in their one and only home, and struggle paying for 2 homes post separation; as Brangelina have homes across the world, this won’t be such a challenge for them.

We’ll have to see how this plays out for both of them, as divorce laws are different around the world. What is consistent across continents is that a failure to reach an agreement is going to result in some significant legal bills, so they should think about taking a sensible approach.

Emma adds:

“The breakdown of any marriage or relationship is tragic and whilst the average breakup does not make the news feeds, it’s just as shocking for everyone in their social and family circle.”

“We represent clients in high net worth cases and it’s often surprisingly easy to reach an agreement about the big assets – what’s often harder is how to split those family assets that have sentimental rather than financial value.”

“For example, who keeps the baby photos and special mementos? That’s going to be a struggle if they can’t even agree who keeps the kids! Let’s keep our fingers crossed that tempers settle and sense wins out in the law of celebrity divorce!”

Written by Emma Pearmaine

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

0808 129 3304

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