After more than two years of wrangling over their divorce and child custody, actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are single. And their divorce has given us a glimpse into California laws that could apply to any of us.
California is one of few states that allows couples to divorce before finalizing their settlement. It’s called bifurcation.
Jolie, 43, and Pitt, 55, have six children, and custody is one issue that has kept their divorce settlement from being made final. Both actors requested the judge to issue a bifurcation order.
“Both parents are focused on what’s best for the kids,” a source told People magazine.
Their children range from a 17-year-old boy to 10-year-old twins.
Jolie and Pitt met while filming a movie released in 2005, and the following year, she announced she was pregnant. Pitt adopted her children, and the couple went on to have three children together before marrying in France in 2014.
Jolie filed for divorce in September 2016 in California, citing irreconcilable differences as the reason.
In June 2018, a judge made a custody schedule for five of the six children. At the time, the judge said the 17-year-old could decide how often he wanted to see Pitt. A few months later, they reached an agreement on temporary child custody.
Jolie wants full custody; Pitt is seeking shared custody. Their divorce-settlement case has been extended until Dec. 31, giving them and the children time to continue to work with a court-approved therapist.
Their case shows that in California, it is possible to untangle from your spouse while continuing to work on the issue that’s most important to both of you: your children. Your divorce attorney can assist with a request for a bifurcation order.