As the entertainment media lights up like a Christmas tree with headlines of the split of power couple ‘Brangelina’ and news that Angelina will file for divorce and ‘physical’ custody of their 6 children, many are left asking what this all means.

Unlike America, separating couples in Australia are not able to file for a divorce until the couple have been separated for a period of 12 months. The separation period of 12 months is taken to be evidence of an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Divorce is simply a court order formally ending the marriage. The Australian legal system also does not regard children as ‘property’ of the parties and therefore rather than using the term ‘custody’, a softer term of ‘with whom the children shall live’, (whether that be on a full time or a shared care basis) is used. We also do not use terms such as ‘access’ but rather use the term ‘spend time with’ to refer to the time the children spend with the non-resident parent.

While the world awaits news of the outcome of the power couple’s split, one cannot help but ponder as to whether the ultimate terms of the divorce settlement will incorporate proprietary rights to the name ‘Brangelina’.  

For more information contact:

Jenny Orchard
Harwood Andrews
T: 03 5430 3888