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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Blockbuster Hollywood Divorce Brings Out Heavy Hitters

Brad Pitt in the movie Snatch
News of the divorce between Hollywood A-listers Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie lit-up the 24/7 news cycle last week. While not surprising that another blockbuster couple is calling it quits, the high-priced legal spokespersons on each side promised a pitched custody battle following rumors of allegations of mile-high child abuse on an apparently tension-filled international flight.

Rumors that Pitt is the subject of investigations by the FBI, California law enforcement, and child protective services are not panning out. The rumors attempted to frame the narrative for Jolie to get an edge in the upcoming custody battle.

One fact that has been confirmed is that Jolie filed for divorce seeking "sole custody" in her complaint for divorce. Seeking sole custody is an aggressive move in family court where most legal professionals presume joint custody is in the best interests of the minor child.

Not all cases are suitable for joint custody, however. When spouses cannot communicate for the sake of effective co-parenting, or when one parent is abusive to the other spouse or children, sole custody often results.

While various agencies seem to be deflecting queries about investigations, FBI involvement arose as a routine matter given the circumstances of a private jet entering US airspace from abroad. Acknowledging a role in the incident, the FBI's official line is that they have yet to decide whether they will launch an official investigation.

The real fireworks involve the lawyers the stars hired for this divorce. Jolie hired second-generation divorce lawyer Laura Wasser, the so-called "Disso Queen"; the queen of [marital] dissolution.

Charging $850 per hour, Ms Wasser claims Johnny Depp and a Kardashian [or two] among her clients. Used to clients who value their privacy, Wasser prefers to settle cases privately, outside the courtroom where they belong.

For his part, Pitt hired veteran Hollywood divorce lawyer Lance Spiegel, who has made his bones representing the likes of Charlie Sheen, Michael Jackson, and Heather Locklear among others.

To the extent that this famous split sheds light on the concept of legal and physical custody in a divorce, we will follow-up.

Post #559

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