Their 12-year relationship appeared to end abruptly this week with the news of Angelina Jolie filing for divorce from Brad Pitt. Citing “irreconcilable differences” the couple who met on the set of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” resulting in Brad’s divorce from Jennifer Aniston in 2005, appeared to initially withstand many pressures that cause traditional couples to buckle. A large family, heavy work load, public scrutiny, and health problems were just a few of the stressors, and the world looked upon Brangelina as the couple who could “withstand it all”.
And many of us did not see this coming. The couple in August, who had just finished celebrating their second anniversary, told People Magazine that they were “ready to grow old” together. They have six beautiful children: Maddox 15, Pax 12, Zahara 11, Shiloh 10, Knox 8, and Vivienne 8. Their net worth is estimated close to $5oo million. So what happens next?
According to court documents, the couple split September 15th, 2016 and Angelina Jolie is filing for physical custody with Brad Pitt having visitation rights. Tabloids are fueling rumors of Brad’s drinking and parenting techniques, which could prompt a child abuse investigation, but a source close to the couple suggests that both sides would like to avoid a long and drawn out custody battle and opt for an amicable settlement instead.
Forbes estimates that since tying the knot in 2014, Brad and Angelina have earned a combined $117 million and have accumulated $500 million net worth. Their real estate holdings are impressive as well, including a French villa, a mansion in New Orleans, a home in Hollywood and an apartment in New York. They couple also owns a foundation together, established in 2006. At this time, details of allotment are still being ironed out and there has not been talk of a preexisting agreement such as a prenuptial. However, if the custody battle turns vicious, we would expect the division of assets to be as well.
When Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston broke up, millions of fans felt they had to choose a side. The side many took, however, was unexpected. Anti-Angelina Jolie sentiment grew as people blamed her for the Brad and Jennifer divorce, and Angelina had to win people over harder than ever with her charitable work, acting, and strength when facing health issues. We suspect her fan base will still be loyal but Brad may come out ahead in this one.
Celebrity divorces run the risk of turning ugly as media and tabloids fuel the fury and chaos. The couple known to “withstand it all” hopefully can do just that and get through this difficult time with dignity, compassion for their children and privacy.
Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician