The divorce filing involving Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie has of course made news in California and around the country. Although they have been together since 2004, they have only been married since 2014. Since then, Pitt has made about $76.5 million while Jolie has made about $41 million. Since 2004, the two have earned over $555 million.
Experts say the two probably signed a prenuptial agreement since each has been married before and their earnings and assets were already high when they got together. Under the terms of a prenup, it is likely that they agreed that their individual earnings would remain with them. A prenup usually has terms for division of property such as real estate, but if this were not the case, they would be subject to California community property laws. The homes they bought around the world together prior to getting married will not be considered joint marital property.
There could be bigger conflicts over their children. Jolie has asked for sole physical custody, but Pitt might dispute that. He will likely also be required to pay child support if they live with her more than 50 percent of the time.
Property in other states and other countries is only one reason that a high-asset divorce can be complex. There might be multiple accounts, investments and even a business to divide. A prenuptial agreement does not always guarantee that the divorce will be trouble-free either because it is possible to challenge such an agreement. In some cases, one spouse might try to use offshore accounts, shell companies or other methods to hide assets. However, if a couple can work together through negotiation or mediation to come to an agreement about property division, they might be happier with the outcome.