As posted earlier today, TMZ reported on Saturday, with tips from sources connected to Brad Pitt, that Angelina Jolie has been “hostile” in their divorce negotiations, and is supposedly not getting on with her own lawyer, Laura Wasser. PEOPLE then followed with a clarification – that Laura isn’t quitting Angelina but they may not be agreeing on some issues.
Now we may be getting a clearer picture of why Brad’s team leaked to TMZ and what they were trying to get ahead of. Because NBC News has obtained court documents that were filed in LA this morning. The headline:
"[Pitt] has a duty to pay child support. As of present, [Pitt] has paid no meaningful child support since separation," wrote Jolie's attorney, Samantha Bley DeJean, in a two-page brief filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by NBC News.
"Given the informal arrangements around the payment of the children's expenses have not been regularly sustained by [Pitt] for over a year and a half, [Jolie] intends to file an RFO for the establishment of a retroactive child support order." (An RFO is a request for a court order.) The court filing did not define what is "meaningful" support.
Pitt’s spokesman did not immediately comment.
Under California law, each parent is responsible for providing for the children based upon the agreement reached between the couple. It is not clear what, if any, agreement Pitt and Jolie have reached.
Jolie's lawyers are asking to appear before a judge to schedule a status conference in the case to address the financial issue amid the couple's separation.
According to TMZ, Angelina is also asking to finalize the divorce before the end of the year.
Per E! News:
“A Pitt insider who is familiar with the situation counters, "Brad always fulfills his commitments."
Another source tells E! that:
"In order for the marriage to be dissolved before all of the other issues have been resolved, certain things need to be done by both parties. The motion today was just designed to move that process forward on those issues, including financial disclosure and child support," a source close to Jolie explained to E! News. "The dissolution of the marriage will help to move forward as a family and work together as co-parents, which is something that Angelina is committed to and has been." Pitt, for his part, has previously and repeatedly expressed a desire to amicably co-parent his children with the Academy Award winner. According to the Jolie source, it's "ultimately up to the court" to set up "an arrangement that is in the children's best interest."
I wonder then if this is what precipitated the leak to TMZ on the weekend about Angelina being unreasonable and Laura Wasser wanting to leave her. You’ll note that Laura Wasser’s not the lawyer who’s named in this filing. So. Knowing that Angelia would be asking for financial disclosure and child support to pursue the resolution of the divorce, is this why Team Pitt passed the information along to TMZ? PEOPLE’s report on the situation on Saturday included details about Laura Wasser staying on as Angelina’s lawyer but that another firm would be joining the case because Angelina was “bringing in the experts” since the case is “entering a new phase”. This “new phase”, evidently, is the money phase. You want to tell people I’m a bitch? OK, I’ll tell them you’re a deadbeat dad.
And then, of course, it all comes back to how much time Brad is actually spending with the kids. The easy answer here is to say that if he’s not spending time with his children, why should he pay for them? Which… murky legal territory there and a terrible precedent. If that’s the baseline for a parent to provide child support, what’s stopping any cheap ass motherf-cker from deliberately not seeing their kids so they don’t have to write child support cheques? I’m not sure that would fly with a lot of single parents out there who are constantly chasing their exes for their monthly due. In this case, Brad’s claimed to want to see his kids more but has accused Angelina of blocking access to them – and money may be his way of gaining control over that situation. But then there’s the issue of the supervision and the fact that he’s still required to have supervision during his time with the kids, which is a requirement of the court and not Angelina.
Page Six is now jumping on this with an exclusive of their own, citing sources close to Brad who are calling Angelina’s latest filing a “publicity stunt”:
“Brad has completely lived up to his commitments as far as child support and will continue to do so,” the source said. “This is nothing more than a publicity stunt because he wanted to restart the formal process to divorce.”
So now we’re fighting about who wanted to break up with whom first? As for publicity stunting, again, this latest round of slapping back and forth at each other started on Saturday with TMZ’s reporting, from Brad’s sources, that Angelina was being a crazy bitch.
Can we all agree that if there’s publicity stunting going, they’re BOTH participating?
Curious though…and a reminder…
Page Six was the outlet that broke the news that Brad may or may not have been dating or interested in Dr Neri Oxman. So if we’re keeping track of which outlets are favouring which side, it’s TMZ and Page Six for Brad Pitt and possibly NBC for Angelina. With PEOPLE trying to straddle the middle so as to not f-ck up their relationship with either. By that count, Brad’s up 2-1 on having media in his corner.