Child abuse claims help poison Brangelina divorce

Suppose you are divorcing and seeking sole custody of your kids. Now suppose your spouse is accused of child abuse. Who do you think is in the better negotiating position when the divorce lawyers sit down to dicker?

Even non-lawyers can see the answer is obvious. This hypothetical situation may not be so hypothetical in the increasingly poisonous pending divorce of Hollywood icons Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.

“For a very sexy couple, I think that this is going to be a very unsexy divorce,” says family-law attorney Jacqueline Newman, partner at Berkman Bottger Newman & Rodd in New York. “I think that these people are really going to absolutely settle outside of court. I think that they’re going to get into a room together and figure it out.”

So far, that’s not happening.

What’s the latest bombshell?

Early Thursday, TMZ landed a story asserting that Pitt, 52, is “under investigation” by authorities in Los Angeles for allegedly getting verbally and physically abusive with his children while in the air on a private plane, and continuing on the tarmac after landing at an airport in Minnesota on Sept. 14.

The timing of the incident has caused speculation that it precipitated the couple’s separation the next day and her filing for divorce on Monday, in which she took the relatively rare step seeking sole physical custody of their six kids under 15.

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