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Pitt/Jolie divorce raises property division questions

California couples who are ending their marriages have a lot on their mind, and property division is often a significant issue. Whether they are of modest means or have millions of dollars, figuring out these matters out can be a difficult task.

The September 2016 announcement of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's divorce has started a discussion of these issues. Some reports show the couple earned as much as $555 million since they became a couple in 2004. Complicating factors, however, is the fact that despite the couple being in a long-term relationship, they only legally married in 2014. Since at least some of their assets were commingled, in the form of buying real estate and perhaps other purchases, before they married, determining property division may prove to be a headache for the former couple and their legal teams.

While most couples do not own multiple homes and don't have nearly as much money to divide, dividing a marital estate is still a complex business. Whether the couple commingled funds before getting married, own a business or have other special financial needs, ensuring fairness can be challenging without sound advice from financial and legal professionals.

Individuals who are considering a divorce may benefit from consulting with an experienced family law attorney. This applies in particular to a high asset divorce where it can be difficult to fully grasp the complexities of the couple's finances. An attorney can review the client's situation and make recommendations regarding legal strategies in determining the actual worth of the marital estate with a view towards negotiating an overall settlement agreement.

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