With the surprise announcement this afternoon that Angelina Jolie has filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, it begs the question of what has brought their short marital union to an end and what will the terms of the divorce settlement be.
Unlike the various american states, under English law Angelina if she had commenced divorce proceedings here would have to evidence the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage with one of the following factors:
- Brad’s adultery;
- his unreasonable behaviour;
- that they had been living apart for at least 2 years and both consent to the divorce; or
- they have been separated for over 5 years.
We do not have divorce on demand.
Whilst both parties here are independently wealthy and so one assumes that any financial settlement between them will be limited, this is in english legal terms a short marriage. However they were together for many years prior to marriage and so an English divorce court would take that cohabitation period which moved seamlessly into marriage into account when looking at the length of the relationship as a factor to be considered when determining how their financial wealth should be divided between them.
For more information please contact our Head of family team, Alison Green.