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Angelina Jolie Files for Sole Custody, Not Shared Parenting

Posted By Castellanos & Associates, APLC || 17-Oct-2016

Just about everyone was or acted shocked when they heard that Angeline Jolie and Brad Pitt – Hollywood power couple “Brangelina” – were divorcing. But for all the family lawyers of the world, some of the details of the divorce left them scratching their heads more than hanging their jaws. Specifically, the fact that Jolie had requested sole custody of all six children was surprising, if not different from the current norm. If granted, the kids would never live with Pitt, only seeing him on a set visitation schedule.

Why File for Sole Custody?

For the most part, parents only want sole control of child custody rights when there has been abuse, violence, or inhospitable actions and behaviors on part of the other spouse. This is also usually the only time when a court will readily agree to sole custody arrangements.

When Jolie filed for divorce, she said sole custody would be best “for the health” of the family but never mentioned or hinted at any type of abuse from Pitt; rumors circulated about a heated argument on a private jet but the story didn’t progress very far. Without any particular citations of unsavory behavior, does Jolie stand a chance at getting sole custody? What happens if she doesn’t?

Potential Benefits of Joint Custody

In a joint custody agreement, both parents get a say in how the children are raised – this is known as legal custody – and the children spend time living with each parent as part of the physical custody agreement. If Jolie’s petition for sole custody is denied, some sort of joint custody agreement will need to be worked out, assuming Pitt doesn’t also file for and gain sole custody. She might not want this to be the case but, as plenty of research indicates, this might be what is actually best for her family’s health.

Family courts across the country lean towards joint custody whenever possible simply because two minds are better than one. Where one parent might struggle to reach or teach their kids, the other could excel, and vice versa. This balance of learning from two people, regardless of their genders, sexes, or societal roles, seems to be an intrinsic benefit to children and their developing minds. Studies in the past have shown that children who lived with both parents after a divorce were far less likely to develop emotional problems in the future when compared to children of sole custody divorces.

How Will the Celebrity Divorce End?

Until more news develops with the Brangelina divorce, we can all only speculate how it will actually conclude. Sometimes a divorce can take more than a year to finalize, especially when there are expensive assets to sort through, so it could be some time. But for now, there is more reason to believe that Jolie’s sole custody wish will only be granted if Pitt accepts it upfront and without reason for contest.

If you have more questions about child custody laws in California, or if you are going through a divorce of your own, contact our Los Angeles family lawyers from Castellanos & Associates, APLC. We have 40+ years of total family law experience and offer free case reviews, so why not get started today?

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