Brangelina Divorce – A Private Affair?



The tabloids are awash with the shocking news of the fact that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have separated and that Angelina has applied to the courts in America for a divorce citing irreconcilable differences and has also sought an order that the couples 6 children live with her.

As one of Hollywood’s hottest couples it is hardly surprising that such unexpected news would be met with such a furore of press attention and intrigue. However, Brad and Angelina have historically been fairly guarded in respect of their private lives in comparison with other celebrity couples and more particularly have sought to shield their children. With the rumour mill working overtime with suggestions of a possible affair it is also unsurprising that the couple have requested that they are given space at this difficult time.

It is comforting to see that whatever has happened within their relationship to lead them to this point, both parties continue to have the children at the forefront of their thoughts and hopefully that will seek to deal with process as amicably as possible.

Whether the press will respect the plea for privacy we will have to wait and see. With the proceedings to take place in America, it will be the privacy rules there that will apply. However high profile divorces also happen in England and Wales and so divorcing couples here may also have concerns about publicity and privacy.

Since the 27th April 2009, accredited representatives of newsgathering and reporting organisations and any other unaccredited person whom the Court permits to be present may be present for hearings in all family proceedings except hearings conducted for the purpose of judicially assisted conciliation or negotiations. The rules also provide that the Court can exclude such representatives. Whilst the media are allowed to attend family proceedings; the Court will have power to restrict both attendances by them and what can be reported.

Whilst the majority of family court cases do not garner press intention, if you are concerned that this might be the case, it is really important that you ensure that your solicitors are aware of your concerns and can advise and act appropriately. Where this is a likely issue there should be full exploration of the alternative processes such as Mediation, Collaborative Law, and Solicitor Negotiations which by their nature are confidential and, where an agreement can not be reached, Family Arbitration offers an opportunity for parties to seek a decision within a process which is also confidential.

At Breeze and Wyles Solicitors Ltd, our highly experienced and sympathetic team of family law solicitors can help and advise you on the full range of family law matters and divorce related issues. We are able to give you clear advice on the legal aspects of your situation, whether it is to assist you with a situation that has already arisen or whether to assist you in preventing a situation from arising in the future. We can also represent you whether by negotiating on your behalf, using the Collaborative Law process or in applications to the court or to arbitration. Karen Johnson is additionally a family law mediator and Olive McCarthy is a Family Arbitrator.

For more information, call our Family Department on 01992 558411