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Let’s stop blaming Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s divorce on the kids

Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and their six gorgeous kids have been one of Hollywood’s golden families for years, but it seems even celebrity marriages can have their troubles. Jolie filed for divorce yesterday, citing irreconcilable differences as the cause for the breakdown of the marriage.

Among her paperwork is a request that she be given sole physical custody of the children and that Pitt be granted visitation. She is requesting that the parents continue to share joint legal custody.

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The Jolie-Pitt’s children, Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh and twins Knox and Vivienne range in age from 7 to 14. There’s already been some speculation that the reason behind Jolie filing for divorce has to do with her being unhappy with how Pitt interacts with the children, but let’s be real. That’s a pretty big jump to make based on the paperwork that was filed.

Jolie isn’t seeking sole legal custody, a common move in divorce cases where the parties are at odds over the children. Sole legal custody would allow her to make the sole decisions regarding big issues in the children’s lives, like where they should go to school, what religion to raise them in, when to seek medical care for them or any of the other big questions parents have to grapple with. She’s still comfortable with making those decisions jointly with Pitt, as she’s not seeking to have these rights taken away from him.

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Instead she’s only asking for sole physical custody — that the children’s primary residence be established as being with her, and Pitt being given visitation instead of the parties sharing joint physical custody. The request for sole physical custody could be based on the actor’s busy travel schedule. It could be that Jolie would prefer to have the children spend most of their time in her home but still see their dad frequently.

For all we know they could have agreed to this before she even filed the paperwork for divorce. The bottom line is that Jolie seeking sole physical custody alone doesn’t necessarily mean Pitt’s parenting methods are up for questioning, especially when his legal custody rights aren’t also being challenged.

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Regardless of how their custody arrangement ends up, the relationship between a parent and child is based on quality, not the amount of time you spend with each other. Here’s hoping the Jolie-Pitts can settle things amicably and that the children end up having healthy relationships with both parents.

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