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Robert N. Getz

The Jolie-Pitts bring bifurcated divorce into the spotlight

Anything about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's marital dissolution makes headline news these days. Most recently, articles have been released, saying that the couple is filing for a bifurcated divorce. What does that mean, and is it an option for Washington residents?

A bifurcated divorce allows a couple to achieve single status without having a settlement agreement in place. This gives each party the opportunity to move on in their personal lives while taking their time to figure out issues such as property division, spousal support, child custody and child support. There are certain situations where this type of divorce just makes sense.

When it comes to the Jolie-Pitts, they have been working on a dissolution agreement for nearly three years now. That is a long time to be negotiating divorce terms. Some people feel unable to really move forward until they get that piece of paper that says they are not married anymore. So, a bifurcated divorce can grant them some peace of mind so that they can start taking new steps in their personal lives.

Not all states recognize bifurcated divorce. Washington does, but it is not something that is open and available to everyone. There are certain qualifications that must be met for a judge to allow this type of divorce to go forward. Those who think this might be a good option for them can certainly speak to legal counsel about it in order to determine if it is actually something they can do. No matter how one goes about finalizing a divorce, with the assistance of an experienced attorney, it is possible to get it done as quickly as possible while, at the same time, achieving a settlement that is satisfactory for both parties.

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