If there is one commonality among celebrity divorces, it's that most are settled privately between the spouses and their legal counsels of record. However, the ongoing saga between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie appears to be bucking this trend.
People magazine reports on an unusual occurrence in the high-profile couple's divorce — with Jolie making public claims that Pitt has failed to make "meaningful'' child support payments for the six kids the actors share.
Attorneys for Jolie are also seeking to bifurcate the divorce, meaning that the couple could finalize the divorce while reserving their right to settle matters regarding their community property and child custody and support.
The couple has been living separate and apart since 2016. Recent filings by Jolie's legal team accused Pitt of paying less support, but his own attorneys reiterated that not only has he paid Jolie $1.3 million in child support, he also loaned his wife $8 million to purchase a home.
What makes Jolie's filing atypical is that to request child support from the California courts instead of settling the matter privately between the parties requires that her own finances will be laid bare in the proceedings.
This is usually anathema to the rich and famous, as most prefer to hash out the financial details through mediation or arbitration where the details don't become part of the public record.
To continue on this path, Jolie must next file a request for orders (RFO). This process requires the spouse requesting the support to prove to the court there is a need for such support.
Both will then have to show their kids' "reasonable needs." As children of two "extraordinary earners," the Jolie-Pitt children's needs would be vastly different from those of most California children's.
For instance, the travel expenses for the six kids alone will be extremely costly, as the kids live internationally and are currently based in London with Jolie, while Pitt makes his home in California.
That's just the tip of their financial iceberg, however. The Jolie-Pitt children also travel exclusively on private jets and do not attend traditional schooling, instead relying on private tutors for their education.
Pitt appears to be in agreement with Jolie to bifurcate the divorce proceedings.
If you are facing a California divorce, it's vital to protect your rights to child support, alimony and the division of property.