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Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie SPENT USD 1 million each in divorce trial; Custody battle to go on for 6 more years?

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s messy divorce trial, which has been ongoing since September 2016, reportedly could become “one of the most expensive divorce cases in Hollywood history in terms of legal fees.”

Between domestic violence allegations and a heated custody battle, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s dramatic divorce trial has been ongoing since their fateful split in September 2016. The major bone of contention is the custody of their underage children as well as how to split their enormous estate, Château Miraval. LA divorce attorney Kelly Chang Rickert has recently revealed some candid details about Brangelina’s divorce battle to Daily Mail.

“I think this could become one of the most expensive divorce cases in Hollywood history in terms of legal fees,” Kelly predicted before adding how the divorce trial has been going on for over four years which makes it one of the longest celebrity cases we’ve ever seen. “I believe Angelina and Brad have already spent over USD 1 million each. They are both employing very reputable attorneys and Angelina has already gone through several,” Rickert stated before elaborating how hourly ratesrange from between USD 1,000 to USD 1,500 while estimating that Brad and Angelina’s lawyers may be billing 40 or 50 hours a week at times.

“They have also hired a private judge who probably bills around USD 900 to USD 1,000 an hour, so he is probably costing USD 10,000 a day. If they used him for a five-day trial, he would probably take USD 50,000 up front and another USD 10,000 to review paperwork beforehand. I would say they’ve paid the judge himself probably close to half a million dollars between them,” Kelly added.

Recently, Jolie made headlines for selling a painting by Winston Churchill which is believed to have been a gift to her by Pitt and was sold for a massive USD 11.5 million at a London auction. Rickert noted that people questioned if Angelina selling the expensive painting was foreshadowing that she and Brad were close to settling. However, Kelly’s “pessimistic divorce lawyer point of view” thinks the painting was sold so that the 45-year-old actress could pay more attorney’s fees.

According to Rickert, Jolie might think she’s getting sole custody of her kids but that is not the case. Rickert stated to Daily Mail that Angie can keep paying millions and millions but as long as the 57-year-old actor wants custody and fights for it, she’s going to have to share. “Their youngest kids, twins Knox and Vivienne, are 12 so this could go on another six years until they reach the age of majority at 18. I’ve definitely had cases go on and on and on until the kids are adults,” Kelly added.

Rickert noted how “very nasty ones keep going” and that Angelina changing her attorney is an indication that she’s adamant to get her own way and isn’t willing to give up. Kelly feels it’s almost worse when people have the money because they’ll just keep fighting and while other people eventually run out of money, Jolie “has the means to keep paying for lawyers.”

Another point factoring into the expensive divorce trial is expert witness fees. It was in August 2020, when Brad’s lawyers presented a list of 21 witnesses expected to be called by him for a child custody trial, which included several mental health experts while Angelina presented a list with seven witnesses, amongst which five were expert witnesses.

Family lawyer Joe Spirito disclosed to Daily Mail that fees vary depending on the type of experts but in the case of mental health experts or accountants, they’re said to get around USD 500 an hour. “When you have experts that are in the mental health profession to evaluate custody it can cost USD 100,000 for the work done by one expert alone. In this case, there are several children and the marriage lasted several years so I wouldn’t be surprised if in total legal fees were in excess of USD 1 million,” Joe further divulged.

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