A top divorce lawyer explains what could happen to Brangelina’s $500 million fortune
The biggest question in Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s divorce is who will take care of their children.
The next question is who will get their stuff.
INSIDER spoke with Raoul Felder, a top divorce attorney who’s been involved in cases with celebrities like Rudy Giuliani, Martin Scorsese, Mike Tyson, and Tom Clancy, about how Brangelina’s assets might be split.
Pitt and Jolie have a combined net worth of $500 million, according to People. Other estimates are even higher: Celebrity estate attorney Donald David thinks Pitt is worth up to approximately $350 million, with Jolie at $275 million.
It isn’t clear what sort of prenuptial agreement they have — if they have one at all — so it’s a mystery how their assets will be distributed. If they don’t have a prenuptial agreement, they’ll likely have an arbitration to figure out how the assets should be split.
Their most valuable assetts probably won’t be physical things or any cash they have on hand. It’s most likely to be royalty from their movies.
Brad Pitt produced “Selma” through his production company, Plan B Entertainment. Because he made the movie while married to Angelina Jolie, she might be entitled to some of the film’s royalties. Paramount Pictures
Actors are usually paid with a flat salary for movies. But A-listers — like Brad and Angelina — can demand a royalty. A royalty is a percentage of the revenue or profit made from a film. It can pay dividends for decades from stuff like DVD sales and streaming deals.
These income sources are considered a form of “property” by law, and Pitt and Jolie will have to figure out how they want to split it up.
“If the movie was made during the marriage, then it was marital property and will be shared, in California’s case, 50-50,” said Felder.
Both Pitt and Jolie have sources of income from movies they haven’t acted in, as well. Pitt is an Oscar-winning producer through his company Plan B Entertainment, making movies like “The Big Short,” “12 Years a Slave,” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Jolie has directed three feature films — “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” “Unbroken,” and “By the Sea” — and two documentaries.
Pitt and Jolie might ask for an even more than 50% for particular movies. They can argue that they helped each other make their movies and thus deserve even more money.
“Let’s assume that she’s the director [of a film] and it was made during the marriage, and then she makes appearances to promote her film,” Felder said. “In that case, she might have grounds to ask for 100% of the money for the film.”
What about their various homes and estates around the world? The court will try to split them up according to their value, with Pitt and Jolie agreeing on who should get which.
Appraising the estates is going to get complicated. Jolie and Pitt will probably hire their own evaluators for their own appraisals, who will rate them high or low depending on who wants the properties, Felder said. To determine which evaluations are fair, the court will need to have a whole other trial to consider the evidence, according to Felder.
It’s highly unlikely that the division of assets will happen in open court, Jacqueline Newman, an attorney who deals with high-net-worth clients, told People. More likely, they’ll be settled in a private arbitration. So we’ll never really know exactly who gets what.