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Less than five years after they were Brangelina, they were again Brad and Angelina. And the split has been, let's just say, less than amicable. Divorce can always be messy, but few divorces have been so publicly messy.
In the last 48 hours alone: Angelina Jolie's attorneys have alleged that Brad Pitt hasn't paid any "meaningful" child support for a year and a half; Pitt's attorney claimed he gave Jolie $8 million to purchase her current residence and another $1.3 million in "bills" for the benefit of her and their six children since their 2016 split; and Jolie's attorney sniped back that "A loan is not, however, child support and to represent it as such is misleading and inaccurate."
So ... what's next?
Jolie's attorney, Samantha Bley DeJean, claims the actor has had to shoulder the majority of the children's expenses "without his contribution for the past two years. Child support is not optional in California." Bley DeJean told People Jolie's filing regarding the lack of child support "was both legally appropriate and factually accurate in all respects," adding, "What has been filed by Brad's side today is a blatant attempt to obfuscate the truth and distract from the fact that he has not fully met his legal obligations to support the children."
For his part, Pitt's attorney, Lance Spiegel, called Jolie's filing a "thinly-veiled effort to manipulate media coverage," and a source close to Pitt told CNN, "It is sad that someone would deliberately misrepresent the situation, especially after Brad has continued to fulfill his commitments."
Child support arrangements can be hammered out via negotiation between the parties or by a judicial order. And is seems that Jolie's side has had enough of the former and is now opting for the latter. "Given that the informal arrangements around the payment of the children's expenses have not been regularly sustained by [Pitt] for over a year and a half," Bley DeJean wrote in Tuesday's court filing, "[Jolie] intends to file an RFO [request for a court order] for the establishment of a retroactive child support order."
The lesson to divorcing couples is a good one. Even if you come to your own agreement regarding child support, get it in writing and sanctioned by a court -- that way it is enforceable against both parties and no one is left arguing about loans, gifts, and children's expenses.
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.