Who Gets Custody Of Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie's Children? Their Divorce Leaves Many Questions
In Earth-shattering (or at least Hollywood-shattering) news, TMZ announced on Tuesday that Angelina Jolie has reportedly filed for divorce from Brad Pitt citing irreconcilable differences, a rumor which has been reportedly confirmed by CNN and the UN, of all places. Aside from being legendary lovers, philanthropists, and A-Listers, the pair are parents of six, leaving the world to wonder who is getting custody of the Jolie-Pitt children. Well, in case this bombshell isn't enough of a hit, brace yourself for another shocker: Jolie is reportedly asking for sole physical custody of her children. Bustle has reached out to Jolie's lawyer and reps for both Jolie and Pitt regarding the divorce report, but has not yet received a response.
Update: Jolie's lawyer has confirmed that she did in fact file for divorce from Pitt in a statement to Reuters: "This decision was made for the health of the family. She will not be commenting, and asks that the family be given its privacy at this time," said Robert Offer, according to the newswire.
Update #2: Pitt also confirmed his divorce from Jolie in a statement to PEOPLE, saying, "I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the well-being of our kids... I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time."
Now, prior to linking up with Pitt, Jolie had struck it out as a single mother, adopting then 7-month-old Maddox from an orphanage in Cambodia back in 2002. At the time of the adoption announcement Jolie was still married to Billy Bob Thornton, before they were separated approximately three months later. Then Jolie and Pitt joined forces in Mr. and Mrs. Smith and things were never quite the same. Although Jolie said in 2005 that she could never "be intimate with a married man" (Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston, a fact that nobody has since forgotten), they "fell in love" while on the set of the spy film. Subsequently, Pitt accompanied the actress when she adopted Zahara from Ethiopia in July of that year, sparking further speculation that the two were a couple.
And here is where the story gets complicated. In January 2006, Brangelina confirmed their coupledom by announcing that Jolie was pregnant with the prodigal Hollywood child, now known as Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt. January 16 saw that Maddox and Zahara had their surnames altered to Jolie-Pitt, and Pitt adopted the two sometime after. Likewise, Jolie adopted, and then had Pitt adopt, son Pax from Thailand in 2007. Finally, the pair finished off their brood with the birth of their two biological twins, Vivienne and Knox, in 2008.
So make no mistake, the Jolie-Pitts are jointly and legally raised by both halves of the shattered power couple, which is only reinforced by their 2014 marriage. But if Jolie's alleged requests are to go through, Pitt is going to have a significantly diminished role in his children's life. According to sources from TMZ (I know, I know, take it with a grain of salt), part of Jolie's supposed reason for filing was because of alleged substance abuse and, reportedly, "an anger problem" from Pitt, but also an alleged disagreement about how they were raising their children. If true, her alleged choice to file for sole physical custody would mean that Pitt would be allowed joint legal custody, but Jolie would primarily be doing the child-rearing. Pitt, in turn, would be granted visitation rights, according to reports. It's also worth noting that Jolie is allegedly not asking for spousal support.
But will there be a fight over who gets the kids? Barry Slotnick, a lawyer who specializes in custody battles, tells Bustle that the pair could very likely bring this to court. "As far as a legal battle, as long as there are lawyers involved there will be a battle. She has made allegations that are severe with regards to his relationship with the children and they count," Slotnick said in an email statement via his publicist. Likewise, he said that the pair will most likely receive joint custody unless Jolie can prove that her supposed allegations made against Pitt are true.
Hopefully, this will get resolved with little drama; it's hard enough losing the Hollywood golden couple, and I don't know if I could stomach Hollywood's golden family crumbling down with it.