Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are American actors and superstar-celebrities in their own right. Both are known world-wide for their acting as well as their international humanitarian causes.
In 2002, Jolie became a single mother when she adopted Maddox Chivan from Cambodia. She added to her single mother status when she adopted Zahara Marley in 2005.
Also in 2005, Jolie appeared in a movie with Pitt entitled Mr. and Mrs. Smith. They played bored spouses who discover that they are both secret assassins. Pitt, married at the time to America’s sweetheart Jennifer Anniston, and Jolie recently divorced from actor Billy-Bob Thornton, allegedly fell in love on the set and became a couple.
In 2006, Pitt became a single father to Jolie’s children when he adopted Maddox and Zahara. In 2006, Pitt and Jolie became the parents of their own biological child, Shiloh Nouvel. In 2007, Jolie adopted Pax Thien from Vietnam, and Pitt added his name to the adoption in 2008. Also in 2008, Pitt and Jolie became biological parents to twins Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline. All six of the children have the same surname: Jolie-Pitt.
From 2006 until 2016, the family spent their lives traveling all over the world with the parents maintaining their humanitarian efforts and their acting careers.
On September 19, 2016, the Jolie-Pitt lifestyle came tumbling down when Jolie filed for divorce in Los Angeles, California Superior Court. In her court papers, Jolie claimed that she and Pitt were married on August 14, 2014 and separated on September 15, 2016. She claimed that she and Pitt had resided in Los Angeles from 2004 with their children as each child came along. She listed all six of the Jolie-Pitt children as the minor children from their relationship. She also requested physical custody be awarded solely to her with visitation rights be awarded to Pitt; and that legal custody be awarded to both Jolie and Pitt jointly. With the filing of these documents, the news media internationally went wild! The perfect modern couple was no more and custody of their children might not be equally shared.
California is a world-pioneer in dissolving marriages as “painlessly” and “easily” as possible while maintaining the rights of all the parties involved. Paperwork to request divorce has been narrowed down to filing forms and the reasons for divorce have been narrowed to irreconcilable differences (what they are isn’t relevant), incapacity of a partner, nullity (based on bigamy or incest), or unsound mind. By doing so, the state eliminated all potential arguments based on any alleged bad behavior of a spouse. The parties to a divorce are also known as the Petitioner (the one who originally requested the divorce) and the Respondent (the one who responds to the petition for divorce). Throughout the rest of this case, Jolie will be known as the Petitioner and Pitt will be known as the Respondent, regardless of who files a court document.
California is also known for advocating that both spouses are thought to be equally qualified to parent their children. Thus, unless there is reason to believe it is not in the best interest of the children, both spouses will be granted joint physical and legal custody. When a spouse requests the court grant sole physical and/or legal custody to only one parent, the person making the request must show the court why it would not be in the children’s best interests for the parties to co-parent jointly.
Jolie is claiming that she should have sole physical custody of the children and that Pitt should be allowed visitation of their children. She claims that Pitt has an anger-management problem made worse by his use of marijuana and alcohol. If this is true, then the court will probably grant her request, but she will have to prove it. If she can’t, then Pitt will share joint legal and physical custody with Jolie.
But not so fast!
Pitt has not yet responded to Jolie’s request for dissolution. He has 30 days to do so. He, too, will be submitting a series of divorce forms where he can agree with Jolie’s statements and/or provide his own contentions.