One of Hollywood’s most beloved power couples are officially single again. After a long and turbulent marriage, and a very messy divorce process (which isn’t over yet!) Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have finally legally parted ways. Curious about how they can be officially single while still not officially divorced? It’s a little thing called a ‘bifurcated judgement.’
What the heck is a bifurcated judgement?
Many states allow divorcing couples to negotiate what’s called a bifurcated judgement, which allows spouses to become legally divorced before the details have been finalized. A typical bifurcation case is one in which one spouse wants to remarry before all other issues such as child custody, visitation, support, distribution of property, and attorney fees are resolved. This way they can be considered officially divorced before working out all the details. (But before you get all excited, Michigan law doesn’t allow bifurcated judgements in divorce cases. Sorry!)
This way they can get on with their lives…
However, in Brangelina’s case (or, Brad and Angelina as they are now once again known) the state of California does allow bifurcation in divorce cases, so that’s what they’ve done. This way, they’re both free to date and remarry without having to wait until all the details of the divorce are hashed out. And in this ex-couple’s case, that may be a loooooong time, they filed for divorce in September of 2016 and don’t seem to be any closer to figuring out the details of their divorce.
Custody was a major issue for Brad and Angelina.
Any divorcing couple with kids is going to have to deal with the issue of custody and visitation, and celebrities are no different. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have six children, three of whom are adopted, and three which are biological. In November 2018, the couple reportedly reached a custody agreement. Prior to that the children had been in Jolie’s custody, with Pitt being allowed supervised visitation. However, that arrangement is no more, though what the exact details are is anyone’s guess. At the time, Jolie’s attorney made a statement to the press that the details of the agreement were being kept confidential in the best interests of the children.
Child support seems to have been another source of problems.
In August of last year, Jolie filed court documents asking the Judge to force Pitt to pay the child support he had unofficially agreed to pay for their children after they became separated. She claims he owed her a considerable amount in retroactive support payments. But Pitt’s attorney claimed the allegation of non-payment was unnecessary, and called it “a thinly veiled effort to manipulate media coverage.”
Divorce can be hard for anyone, no matter who you are.
Celebrities may have more money tied up in their divorces, and more social scrutiny of their choices, but divorce is no more hard for them than it is for anyone. As the Jolie-Pitt story shows, wealth, good looks and status don’t make the process easy, so why would any of the rest of us assume it is? If you need help with any aspect of your divorce, call 866 766 5245 today and talk to one of our skilled family law attorneys. We’re available 24/7 to help you.