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Talking celebrity’s divorces. You know they seem to come and go, and while not all can lend advice to the average couple, in the case of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s marriage ending, there are some important takeaways. Jonathan Marks with The Mark’s Law Firm here this morning to break down their break-up. Good morning to you.

Good morning Margie.

Yeah. One thing this couple did is they had a solid prenuptial agreement.

Correct. Yeah, I mean one of the things that couples can really learn from that experience is if somebody that has hundreds of millions of dollars takes the time to really sit down and divide up all their property before they get into this situation, it prevents them from having to worry about all that getting into the media going forward. So, take it from just a more realistic perspective, you know if you have the ability to sit down with your spouse ahead of time and really try to figure out, “Should something go wrong in this marriage, how are we going to divide up our assets?” Again, it prevents the additional arguments that could happen, you know, in your own situation.

It will save you a lot of pain down the road for sure.

Absolutely.

All right. Secondly, keeping their marriage a private affair, which was very difficult for this couple with the paparazzi and everything surrounding them.

Sure. But actually, you know, they’ve done a pretty good job of it. You don’t really hear what is going on to cause the breakup. But you know in the realistic situation here, the Facebook, the Twitter, the other Instagram, any of the social media is really where you want to try to keep things off from postings because that can damage you in your employment, within your relationships with other friends and family, and there is really no reason to put that out there because it has long-term consequences.

Yeah. Third, you said when making that move to file for a divorce, have a specific plan.

Yeah. A lot of people don’t really think about what are the long term effects of the situation. So, if you’re going to get into the divorce, what is it that you really need for the immediate things? Are you moving out of the home, are you creating stability for your children, how are you going to pay for the things once you move out? But have some idea of what the next 30 to 90 days is going to be instead of really just trying to jump into it without an idea of how to plan for your future.

Yeah. The fourth thing is to put the interests of the children first.

Absolutely. I think that’s one of the things you really see in their divorce is that you’re seeing them put the children first with the concerns regarding, you know, alleged Brad’s problems with drugs and alcohol. Here in your own circumstance, think about what’s best for the kids. What is the daily routine that your children are going through and how can you maintain that stability for them going forward? Yes, they’re going to deal with two households but how can you maintain those relationships with each parent and make sure that their social life and their school is not affected?

Yeah. The fifth thing is bad behavior can impact custody.

Yeah. Most people really, you know, they look at it maybe with the marital misconduct if somebody entered into a new relationship. But this is really having more to do with, what are the things that are affecting the children in the relationship? Are there drugs problems? Are there alcohol problems? Are there mental health problems? Things that really happen on a daily basis that could affect the best welfare of the children. Those really will be taken into consideration by the court to make sure that the children’s best interests are met.

Is that the case in Missouri as well? Can that kind of behavior affect custody?

Oh, absolutely. I mean you have a situation where somebody has a drug and alcohol problem, first of all, they need to be addressing it for the court. They wanna provide them with frequent meaningful contact with their children but along with it, you’re going to have a guardian ad litem appointed by rule for purposes of being able to make sure that children’s best interests are met.

Yeah. Another thing that came out with them is different parenting styles which you probably find a lot.

Yeah. Most households when they break up there’s usually a difference either in money or in children which leads to the divorce. So it would not be unusual for two parents to have different parenting styles but the key aspect is that there is communication between those parents so they understand what’s going on in each household but they can be in the same page as it relates to the children’s activities, homework, bedtime, rules on the phones, things that need to be consistent from household to household.  

All right. Some good advice for us. Family law attorney, Jonathan Marks,  thank you so much. We appreciate your time. For more information on The Mark’s Law Firm just head to stomoms.com.