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Anatomy Of A (Celebrity) Divorce: Jolie-Pitt Part 5: Divorce Cases & Privacy
Anatomy Of A (Celebrity) Divorce: Jolie-Pitt Part 5: Divorce Cases & Privacy

*Divorce documents sealed

At the end of 2016, Jolie and Pitt agreed to seal documents in their divorce and custody case. Angelina Jolie blamed Pitt for any and all damage experienced by their children resulting from the divorce. She contended that Pitt wants documents sealed because the public will discover his flawed parenting and abuse of his children.

The parties’ relationship became heated in the last few months of 2016 when Brad became upset with Jolie after she filed unsealed documents trying to prevent him from modifying their current custody and visitation arrangement. Jolie claims that he’s trying to deflect from his role in the media storm which has overwhelmed their children since the filing of the divorce petition and the events on the parties’ plane involving Pitt and 15-year-old son, Maddox.

Jolie recently did not deny Pitt’s motion to seal and agreed with Pitt that their personal affairs and business should be kept private. According to Jolie’s filing on this issue, Pitt is on the offensive because he’s “terrified that the public will learn the truth . . . [and] would prefer to keep the entire case private, particularly given the detailed investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Dept. of Children and Family Services into allegation of abuse.”

In Florida, a court may seal the records of a divorce case, which makes it unavailable in any public record. However, courts generally disfavor sealing court records and are reluctant to do so except for certain exigent circumstances. However, Florida courts are conducive to waiving the requirement that parties file certain documents in a divorce matter, and thus parties may agree to only produce and exchange certain confidential documents and information in their divorce case.

*Private forum resolution

Pitt and Jolie later agreed to resolve their divorce in a private forum and work together to reunify their family, the actors announced in a joint statement in early 2017. By using a private judge, the couple will attempt to maintain the confidentiality of their divorce and any ensuing agreements related to child custody and marital property.

“The parties and their counsel have signed agreements to preserve the privacy rights of their children and family by keeping all court documents confidential and engaging a private judge to make any necessary legal decisions and to facilitate the expeditious resolution of any remaining issues,” their statement read. “The parents are committed to act as a united front to effectuate recovery and reunification.” This is the first joint comment from the couple since Jolie filed a divorce petition in September. Private dispute resolution is often used in high-profile divorce cases to ensure confidentiality as the case proceeds from preliminary settlement negotiations to final decree.

And so there you have it. While the divorce of Jolie and Pitt is unique on some level, in many ways, their divorce is not unlike other divorce cases. A battle over child custody, allegations of child abuse, a prenuptial agreement, sealed case documents, and private dispute resolution all in one divorce case may seem a bit dramatic. However, when family units dissolve, it’s a traumatic experience for all of the individuals involved and particular, specialized needs arise that must be effectively addressed. The Men’s Divorce Law Firm can professionally and expertly serve these needs in any divorce case. We can guide you through the emotional stress of a divorce case and pursue a path that is the most beneficial for you. Call 321-DIVORCE today to schedule a consultation and follow our Twitter page for more insights about divorce and family law.