Many happily married people – yes, there are many happily married people – ask me why divorces are so difficult. “Can’t they just agree?” I am asked. “I know Jane and she is so reasonable,” and “I know Tom and he is so easygoing.” My stock reply is that if people agree then they won’t typically find themselves embroiled in a divorce. It’s impossible for anyone to know what really goes on between married people, and more impossible still to know what goes on in another person’s mind.
Take Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for example. They once were the world’s most perfect couple. Beautiful. Famous. Rich. Philanthropic. Socially active. Together for 12 years, married for 2. But then seemingly out of the blue Jolie filed for divorce in 2016 and sought sole custody of their 6 children. Now, nearly 2 years later and their divorce dragging on, the perfect couple can’t seem to agree on anything.
Jolie is filming a movie in London and took the children with her. Pitt sought to exercise his time with the children in California, and then went to court to get time with the children. Jolie filed for child support. Pitt responded that he has paid generously. Jolie claims Pitt’s money was a loan and not child support. Pitt says he loaned Jolie $8 million, but also has paid $1.3 million for the children. Jolie demands retroactive child support nonetheless. Each maintains the other is muddying the waters and seeking publicity.
Except for the fame and fortune involved, Jolie v. Pitt is a run-of-the-mill divorce case. The issues are no different than those we confront in local divorce cases, whether in Mount Pleasant or Charleston or Summerville: custody of children, visitation, child support, division of marital assets. The real differences are the people involved, their motivations and their individual goals. At Barker Family Law we strive first to understand individual goals. We devise options, explain the options, and advise and counsel our clients. We take decisive action to attain our clients’ goals swiftly and as economically as possible.