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Hollywood power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are officially engaged, an act that the pair’s most important fans — their six children — have apparently been waiting for.
“Yes, it'’ confirmed,” Pitt's manager said, according to USA Today. “It is a promise for the future and their kids are very happy.”
The pair known as Brangelina had famously vowed not to marry until same-sex marriage became legal nationwide. “But I don't think we'll be able to hold out,” Pitt told The Hollywood Reporter in January. “It means so much to my kids, and they ask a lot.”
So what legal consequences may arise from the couple’s pending marriage?
California, where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie live, is a community property state. Once they're married, the actors' incomes will become community assets; if they later divorce, each spouse will be entitled to 50% of those assets. (But with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, it's likely the couple will enter a prenuptial agreement that trumps the community property presumption.)
Other issues arise when unmarried parents decide to tie the knot, especially regarding taxes and a state's presumption of paternity.
Pitt and Jolie have three adopted children -- Maddox, 10; Pax, 8; and Zahara, 7. They also have three biological children -- Shiloh, 5; and twins Knox and Vivienne, 3.
For unmarried parents in California, the biological father's name is generally not added to the child's birth certificate unless the father signs a Declaration of Paternity. That's likely what Brad Pitt had to do.
But once they're married, California law will presume that Pitt is the father of any child born to Angelina Jolie. Pitt will not have to fill out any extra forms, if they choose to have more children together.
Finally, when it comes to taxes, only one unmarried parent can claim a child as a dependent. But married couples can choose to file jointly and together claim their children as dependents.
Of course, newly engaged Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have ample time to figure out how marriage will affect their modern family. The date for their wedding is still up in the air.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
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