What now for Brangelina family…
Divorce doesn’t have to be ‘bad’, say experts
Angelina Jolie Pitt’s decision to file for divorce from Brad Pitt may have come as a huge surprise. But with six children to consider, the issue must have been given a lot of thought.
Dr Roghy McCarthy is a Dubai-based clinical psychologist who offers counselling to couples and families. Although ‘Brangelina’ are a special case, the A-list couple will essentially be no different from other families who have reached the end of the line.
The Pitt-Jolies have six children, 15-year-old Maddox, 12-year-old Pax, 11-year-old Zahara, 10-year-old Shiloh, and eight-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne.
Jolie is believed to be seeking custody, while asking the judge to give Pitt, 52, visitation rights.
Dr McCarthy said: “I am sure they thought about the children before deciding on divorce because quite simply, this is a unit the children belong to. Now the unit is going to separate and it is very difficult for children to adjust to.”
The Hollywood A-list couple had been together for 12 years after meeting on the set of 2005 movie Mr & Mrs Smith.
Both have already made mention of the children. The Big Short star Pitt released a statement to CNN which said: “I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the wellbeing of our kids.”
Jolie, 41, released a statement that said: “Angelina will always do what’s in the best interest to protect her children. She appreciates everyone’s understanding of their need for privacy at this time.”
A lawyer has said that Jolie’s decision was made for the ‘health of her family’ and Dr Roghy said: “Believe me, nobody wants to break a family. They will try just for the sake of family to keep the marriage. But if it doesn’t work and the marriage is so poisonous that it can damage the kids, this is the last option. “Normally when people have made their decision to separate, they do it because staying with each other is damaging the children more.” Dr Sheetal Kini, a clinical psychologist at LightHouse Arabia, agrees. She said: “Sometimes couples decide to stick together because of the stigma of divorce – they think being together is better than a broken home. But research suggests the opposite. Looking at a high conflict environment, children have fared much better going through a ‘good’ divorce. Divorce itself is not a destructive thing, it can be healthy for the family.” This will be Pitt’s second divorce – he split from Jennifer Aniston in 2005 – while Jolie was previously married to Billy Bob Thornton and Jonny Lee Miller. They may not be able to live together – Jolie cited ‘irreconcilable differences’ when she filed on Monday. But for the sake of the kids, Dr Roghy urges them to try to function as parents. She says: “If you cannot function as a couple, at least try to function harmoniously as parents. Children don’t want conflict and they want these two people to function as parents. Couples must try to keep their personal fight away from them and function properly as a good parent.” Dr Sheetal adds: “The parents will always be family – they will always have the children in common. “People are expected to have a bad divorce and it’s a bad word. But it is possible to make it graceful and kind and generous and loving. Children can feel it, and they know the difference.” ‘Couples must try to keep their personal fights away and function as good parents.’ – Dr Roghy McCarthy
STICKING TOGETHER: Brad and Angelina have six children to think about