There is a lot at stake in the recently announced split between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt; SmolenPlevy co-founding principal and family law attorney Alan Plevy was on News Channel 8’s Good Morning Washington explaining some of the nuances and complications arising out of their separation.
For instance, reports say Jolie is asking for sole physical custody of the couple’s six children. What’s the difference between physical and legal custody? Plevy explained physical custody refers to where the kids live primarily. With physical custody comes the opportunity and ability to make day-to-day decisions by the parent with whom the child lives. Legal custody is the right to participate in major decisions regarding, among other things, the children’s health, safety, and medical welfare.
Addressing the alleged reports that Brad Pitt is being investigated for child abuse, Plevy explained that if someone files a report, the authorities are obligated to investigate. But Plevy also noted that Jolie’s divorce documents disclose that she is seeking joint legal custody. This means that she believes that she and Pitt can work together to make major decisions regarding the children’s health, safety and welfare. It implies that she trusts Pitt’s judgment on those issues. Plevy also raised the point that both Jolie and Pitt are continuously surrounded by security and other supportive personnel.
NewsChannel 8’s Jeff Goldberg and Julie Wright also asked Plevy to explain what was necessary for Jolie to win sole physical custody. Plevy said, “She’s got to prove that he’s impacted the children in one way or the other. There are allegations of drugs and partying, and so forth. But if those incidents took place some place outside of the children’s domain, or where they may be, then that’s not going to have that much of an impact. It has to somehow affect the children.”
Watch the full segment of Alan Plevy on Good Morning Washington above.