Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie may have to spend millions for their custody battle, a report has claimed.
The “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” stars’ custody battle continues after the Court of Appeals sided with Jolie and removed Judge John W. Ouderkirk, who previously handled their case. Los Angeles divorce attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan, who represented celebrities including Kevin Federline, Charlie Sheen and Paula Abdul but is not affiliated with the case, recently weighed in on what Jolie’s recent big win would mean for the exes moving forward.
The esteemed Hollywood lawyer estimated that Jolie and Pitt might have already spent “hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not in the millions” on litigation. He added that they could be spending more, the longer it would take for them to finalize the case.
“And it could be more if they start over again,” he told Us Weekly. “Nothing is more expensive than a hotly contested custody [dispute]. I’m sure both of these people can afford to [keep litigating], which is not the reason to do it, but that’s probably not going to be a major factor for either of them given their respective wealth.”
Jolie’s petition to remove Ouderkirk from the case was granted on Friday. The California Court of Appeals made the ruling after citing Ouderkirk’s “ethical breach” and “recent professional relationships with Pitt’s counsel” and adding that “disqualification is required.”
Los Angeles divorce attorney Kelly Chang Rickert also believed that the couple already spent millions on their legal battle. In fact, she is seeing Jolie and Pitt’s case becoming one of the most expensive divorce cases in Hollywood.
“I think this could become one of the most expensive divorce cases in Hollywood history in terms of legal fees,” Rickert told Daily Mail in March. “It has been going on for over four years now so it’s definitely one of the longest celebrity cases we’ve ever seen. I believe Angelina and Brad have already spent over $1million each. They are both employing very reputable attorneys and Angelina has already gone through several.”
In February, Jolie auctioned a multimillion artwork that she received from Pitt. The “Maleficent” star did not provide a reason why she unloaded the item, but Rickert felt that it had something to do with the legal costs.
“When Angelina recently sold the painting at auction, people asked if that meant they are close to settling,” she said. “I actually think she sold it to pay more attorney’s fees, that’s just my pessimistic divorce lawyer point of view. ‘I wouldn’t be surprised that that’s what it’s for, but it could be for other things too.”
She continued, “Angelina seems to think she can get sole custody of the kids, but that is just not the case. She can keep paying millions and millions and millions but as long as Brad wants custody and fights for it, she’s going to have to share.”