While things may be heating up on the custody front for Brangelina, the next obvious battle for the parents of six is dividing their assets — namely their extensive (and expensive) real estate collection. Angelina is reportedly not asking for spousal support, but that means just about nothing when it comes to dividing multi-million dollar assets like mansions in Los Angeles and a chateau in France.
"If they have a prenup, and assuming it's valid, the prenup will determine how their homes are divided up, regardless of what country they are located in," outlines Jenna Charlotte Spatz, a Beverly Hills divorce attorney. "If there is no preup, then the community-property laws of California dictate the division of their home and assets."
That means anything acquired at or beyond their 2014 marriage would be presumed to be community property, and would probably be divided evenly unless a private settlement was made in either Brad or Angelina's favor. The biggest two properties in question are a 5,300-square-foot home in Los Feliz, California (purchased by Brad in 1994) which is said to be valued at around $12 million on today's market, and the former couple's sprawling 1,000-acre estate in Provence, France; Château Miraval is possibly valued as high as $75 million.
"It could mean that Brad or Angelina has to 'buy out' the other so that one of them can keep certain homes," Spatz says.
Brad's home in California may be relatively safe for now though, because unless there was a formal transfer giving Angelina an interest in that particular home, it was acquired before marriage and would likely stay his and his alone. So don't worry about Brad, he's not going to be out on the streets.
"One of the factors the court will need to consider when making orders regarding custody and visitation is where the six kids are primarily going to be based," Spatz says of the very real consideration that the property split may come down to where the kids spend most of their time and who gets primary custody. "There is also a relatively new trend called 'nesting' where children stay in one house and the parents take turns coming to that house to care for the children as opposed to having the children go back and forth, but just because the children have spent time at a certain home does not mean that the custodial parent will automatically get to obtain that home as part of the property-division aspect of the case."
Things are looking pretty good for Team Angelina in terms of both custody and property division, but when it comes to an estimated $100 million in real estate values (and an operational business at Château Miraval), there's a good chance this will take several years and lots of cash to get straightened out.
"It is important to remember that Brad and Angelina's marriage was relatively short at just over two years," Spatz says. "The time period in which community property could have been acquired is relatively limited, though the amounts and values of the community property could be very substantial."
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