When Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt in September of 2016, the tabloids quickly speculated the split would get messy, but few guessed it would drag on as long as it has. At the time, both Jolie and Pitt released statements expressing their concerns for the well-being of their six children along with pleas for privacy through their high-profile Hollywood divorce attorneys.
Over the years, rumors of Pitt’s alleged substance abuse and Jolie’s unreasonable demands have grabbed headlines. Most recently, a judge awarded the couple a bifurcation of a divorce, which allows couples to become legally divorced while they finalize the details of their divorce settlement and any custody issues.
Celebrities, they’re a lot like us…
If you’re going through a divorce and child custody dispute in Texas right now, you may be thinking: “What does Brangelina’s Hollywood divorce have to do with mine?” In reality, aside from the legal differences between Texas and California, you probably have a lot more in common with the couple than you might think. Here’s why:
When kids are involved, it almost always takes longer to get divorced. Agreeing on child custody arrangements is one reason the Jolie-Pitt divorce was not finalized sooner. On average, Texas divorces with children take longer to resolve, too, with the average divorce without kids taking 9.75 months and the average divorce with kids lasting 14 months. The truth is when children are involved, couples simply have more issues that they need to hash out.
Substance abuse often contributes to divorce. We haven’t seen any facts reported about Pitt’s alcohol use, but at Sisemore Law Firm, substance abuse contributes to a large percentage of the divorces we handle. Research even suggests that in 50 percent of marriages studied, substance abuse was named as a contributing factor in divorce.
Divorce cases often start out with third-party hearsay, not the facts. As soon as Jolie filed for divorce, the media was obsessed with the story. The tabloids were speculating as to the cause, unnamed “sources” were quoted and entertainment TV outlets had a field day. While we don’t know if it was the case with Brad or Angelina, some celebrities do have PR teams that leak information to the press—factual and otherwise—in order to present their client in the best light.
Sure, the average divorcing Tarrant County couple doesn’t have a PR team on speed dial. However, they do interact with third parties, like social workers and case workers, and some share embellished details about their spouse’s parenting skills, substance abuse, infidelity, domestic violence, and the like. These third parties may then make recommendations to the court based on this hearsay.
Facts reign supreme in divorce. While hearsay may be considered for protective or temporary orders, judges typically base their final decisions on facts. If you or your spouse wants to accuse the other party of some type of impropriety, evidence of that impropriety will need to be presented in court.
Divorces typically last a year or longer, people forget things over time and files get lost. That’s why the divorce attorneys at our Fort Worth law firm place such a big emphasis on collecting evidence and witness statements early on. We want to provide as much corroborating evidence as possible and be able to construct a timeline of events that can be supported by facts.
Divorce is hard for everyone. The rich and famous may have more money, power and influence than you do, but divorce is still painful for them. When a family is being torn apart, everyone involved pays a price.
Keep this in mind as you go through the divorce process and do your best to take the high road if things get ugly. The more effort you put into working things out peacefully, the more likely you’ll be able to resolve your divorce sooner and move on with life.
Need advice from a top divorce attorney in Fort Worth?
We’re here to help! Schedule a confidential one-on-one consultation with our founder Justin Sisemore.
Photo Source: Pixabay