There’s a lot to be learned about how to handle a dispute with your divorcing spouse — and how not to handle one — by watching how celebrity divorces play out.
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are publicly warring over child support issues as their marital separation enters its second year — without a final divorce. Jolie has complained that Pitt is falling short on his financial obligations to provide child support. She claims that she’s handled most of the obligations for the children for the last two years.
Pitt has countered that her complaints are a calculated stunt to manipulate the press and increase the pressure and conflict in the relationship. He claims that he has paid $1.8 million toward the care of his children and points to an $8 million loan he provided in order to purchase a new home for Jolie and the kids. (Jolie countered his statements by pointing out that loans do not equal support.)
The couple has previously warred over child visitation schedules as well. Now, it seems like they are headed to court to have a judge determine what support needs to be paid. If Pitt hasn’t been paying his fair share, it’s possible that the judge will agree to order a substantial sum of retroactive support — which could come as an unpleasant financial surprise to any parent.
In the meantime, however, the couple does agree on one thing: They both want a bifurcated divorce. In California, bifurcation is possible when a couple wants to proceed with a divorce even though there are outstanding issues — like child support and custody — that need to be decided. It’s a move that can sometimes be used to end legal ties so that one or both members of the couple can move on. They can then file taxes as a single person and remarry — both of which are important benefits for many couples.
If your divorce is dragging along because of unresolved issues regarding child support or visitation, you may want to follow suit and consider a bifurcated divorce instead.