Once again another celebrity marriage comes to an end. This time, it is film stars, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
The famous couple often called ‘Brangelina’ by the press have six children (three adopted and three biological) from their 12 years spent together.
It is exceedingly difficult to be in the media spotlight and keep a level head through the ups and downs of a marriage, especially where there are small children to care for – their youngest children are eight-year-old twins, Knox and Vivienne.
The laws in England and America differ; however, there are a number of different ways in which their child custody (known as children law in the UK) issue could be resolved.
So what happens next for Brangelina’s children?
Hopefully, Angelina and Brad will negotiate a settlement. Ideally, their divorce settlement will not involve a final hearing for their children arrangements and their financial affairs.
The so-called “quickie divorce” that the media so often refers to is, in fact, the same divorce that everyone gets as almost all divorce cases are dealt with without a hearing.
What comes before the court and gets reported are the big celebrity cases where finances and arrangements for the children have not been agreed.
These issues can be kept out of the media by Angelina and Brad agreeing to a settlement but if they are unable to do so they can opt for a family law arbitrator to deal with matters for them. For their children’s sake let’s hope they can negotiate a settlement. If they cannot, hopefully, they have the sense to arbitrate a settlement rather than allowing the media to trample over them yet again.
It is usually best for children to continue to have regular contact with both parents and to try to prevent a divorce or separation from disrupting their lives as much as is possible.
Brad and Angelina could look to the examples other celebs who have shown their commitment to co-parenting in the recent past by keeping their split as amicable as possible and asking the media to respect their children’s privacy such as Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale and Halle Berry and Oliver Martinez.
For an initial consultation about child custody issues (known as Children Law) call our family lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online.
Liz Cowell is a senior family law solicitor at Slater and Gordon in Manchester.