Mr. and Mrs. Smith are responsible for this summer's hottest drama — except this time the action isn't happening onscreen, but IRL.
In case you missed it, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been in the throes of a nasty, unsettled divorce since September 2016. Much of the legal brouhaha has concerned the custody of their six children, and now a child support dispute has landed them in the spotlight once again.
On Tuesday, Jolie’s lawyer reportedly asserted that Pitt “has paid no meaningful child support since separation” in a brief filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, though the figures that constitute “meaningful” were not detailed.
Now, Pitt and his team are fighting back, slamming Jolie’s allegations as “manipulative” and essentially saying she’s doing this to come across as the victor of the ruthless news cycle surrounding their relationship. In a brief filed to the Superior Court of the State of California obtained by InStyle, Pitt’s lawyer calls Jolie’s filing “unnecessary” and “a thinly-veiled effort to manipulate media coverage.”
The juiciest part, however, is that the brief offers some data to back him up. Pitt's lawyer says that the star “loaned” Jolie $8 million “to assist her in purchasing her current” residence and that he has provided “over $1.3 million in bills for the benefit” of Jolie and their young children. A source familiar with the situation also previously told InStyle, “Brad fulfills his commitments.”
Another important takeaway? Jolie is seeking “retroactive child support” and asking the court to “bifurcate” their marital status, which essentially means she's seeking “single” status while the complex divorce proceedings continue to unfold. This is especially common when the divorce is drawn out, as in the case of Pitt and Jolie.
From here, things get even more complicated.
The brief filed by Pitt’s lawyer says that Pitt wanted to bifurcate their status first — earlier this month, in fact — and that Jolie’s team asked them to wait one week before proceeding. However, the brief claims that Jolie’s group of lawyers then jumped the gun, filing their own paperwork “to create the impression that she, not [Pitt], wanted to bifurcate.”
In June, the couple reached a summer custody agreement — just one of the reasons their divorce has yet to come to a draw — that allows Pitt to see just five of their children during per-hour fractions. Their eldest child, Maddox, 17, has the freedom to choose whether or not he wants to spend time with either parent.
For the sake of the kids, hopefully this will all end soon.