Sunny Hostin

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt: A Legal Analysis of the Divorce Filing

by Lesley Messer for ABC News

ABC News | September 20, 2016 - When Angelina Jolie filed paperwork to end her marriage to Brad Pitt, many wondered if the split would be contentious.

ABC News senior legal correspondent and analyst Sunny Hostin said that the court filing seems fairly standard. However, she noted that in many divorces, custody arrangements cause the most strife.

In this case, Jolie filed for joint legal custody of the former couple's six children, though she has asked for sole physical custody, with visitation rights for Pitt.

"This means that in terms of the legal custody, they will share all of the major decisions, like their education, like their health," Hostin said. "The decisions that parents face together, they will face those together."

"But day-to-day living [Jolie is saying], 'I want them living with me,'" she explained. "Because of their semi-nomadic lifestyle, this isn’t an easy case."

Pitt, 52, and Jolie, 41, were married for two years, but had been a couple for more than a decade when they split. Jolie filed to end their marriage on Monday, citing irreconcilable differences.

Hostin also noted that Jolie did not ask for child support.

"That's negotiating from a position of strength, because typically money is a significant issue," she said. "She’s saying, 'You don’t need to support me afterward, but I want the kids.' So in many divorces, money is a significant issue. But these people have their own money. The issue is the children."

Hostin said that it's too early to tell how the divorce proceedings will go. But, she added, "none of these cases are easy."

"In the scheme of things, this is going to be much like the everyday cases you see," she said. "You spend one day at family court watching what's going on and it's heartbreaking."

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