Divorce is always messy. But celebrity divorce can sometimes get downright juicy. Brad Pitt has hired Lance Spiegel as his divorce lawyer. Spiegel is considered one of Hollywood’s most powerful family law attorneys. His past clients include Charlie Sheen, Michael Jackson, Heather Locklear, Eva Longoria and Russell Simmons. Although Speigel has been involved in several celebrity divorces, nothing comes close to the magnitude and media scrutiny of the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie divorce.
Aside from the media circus, the Brad and Angelina split also promises to be one of the more complicated celebrity divorces. Jolie originally filed for divorce citing “irreconcilable differences”. She is also seeking physical custody of the couple’s six children: Maddox 15, Pax 12, Zahara 11, Shiloh 10 along with Knox and Vivienne who are both 8.
The divorce has already gotten ugly. TMZ reported Pitt displayed physical and verbal abuse with his children while on a private plane and on the tarmac after arriving in Minnesota on September 14. Jolie filed for separation the next day. There have been conflicting reports concerning the incident involving Pitt and his children. Although the Los Angeles Police Department has denied investigating Pitts, USA Today reported Pitt was interviewed by the Los Angeles County Department of Children Services. Adding to the intrigue, the altercation is also being investigated by the FBI because it took place during air travel from France.
When it comes to child custody and divorce, the court’s main objective is to decide what is in the best interest of the children. Regardless of wealth or celebrity status, Pitt is fighting against two major perceptions. Allegations of abuse and adultery are taken very seriously and can be extremely damaging. It appears the Pitt and Jolie divorce will be one of the most bitter and complex custody battles in recent memory. But, how damaging is divorced to a celebrity’s career? If the past is an indication, the effect are probably very minimal if any. The truth is divorce is very common in Hollywood. We have seen Tom Cruise go through three divorces. Robert Downey Jr. has survived despite his battles with substance abuse and weapons charges. Woody Allen, Harrison Ford and Michael Douglas have all continued to thrive despite splitting from their longtime spouses.
Meanwhile, Jolie has retained Laura Wasser, who was her attorney during her divorce from Billy Bob Thornton. Wasser is no stranger to other high-profile divorce cases. She most recently represented Johnny Depp in his divorce from Amber Heard. Wasser has earned the nickname “Disso Queen”, as in the dissolution of marriage.
Whether you are part of a Hollywood power couple or a just a middle-class family in Salt Lake City, divorce does not come cheap. When the custody of your children, along with your assets and property at stake, it is vital to hire a family attorney that will look after your best interests. Too many people settle for a family attorney that promises affordable legal fees. You may save money on your legal counsel, but you could be sacrificing the quality of your legal representation.