News of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie‘s pending divorce rocked the world on Tuesday, and now it’s about to shake up their vast personal fortune and business interests — which have produced over half a billion dollars in revenues since they met.
Pitt and Jolie have generated $555 million in pretax earnings since they famously paired up in 2004, according to Forbes. The staggering number is attributed to their day jobs in Hollywood in front of and behind the camera, overseas endorsements and even a side gig peddling French wine.
Despite their extraordinary living situation, the fate of their estate comes down to a universal and pedestrian question: Is there a prenup?
“People as sophisticated as Brad and Angelina would have great business and legal advisors around them,” Joslin Davis, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, told TheWrap.
“I’m guessing they had a prenuptial agreement, as they each had significant value coming into the relationship and, with so many children, took care of issues in the event of death and divorce,” Davis said.
In California (where Jolie’s A-list divorce attorney Laura Wasser filed the documents), any premarital property is protected, Davis said, and a significant part of their earnings could be off the table considering they spent a majority of their relationship unwed.
Citing their six children as a motive, Jolie and Pitt didn’t walk down the aisle until August 2014. In that time, they earned $117.5 million before taxes, according to the Forbes report.
Pitt was the primary bread winner, clocking $76.5 million thanks to his robust production company Plan B, which counts box office hits and awards favorite like “12 Years a Slave,” “World War Z” and “The Big Short.”
Founded in 2001 by Pitt, his then-wife Jennifer Aniston and current Paramount Pictures CEO Brad Grey, the actor coincidentally became the sole owner of Plan B when divorcing “Friends” star Aniston. It’s possible that Jolie could now go after a portion of that business in a subsequent settlement.
“Let’s assume that Plan B was formed or capitalized heavily during their marriage,” Davis said. “What happens often in startup companies or entrepreneurial scenarios, where you have a big investment or something that’s going to bring the cows home in the future … the parties could settle on a percentage or the court could order a percentage [to the spouse].”
Davis said the technique is an excellent way to expedite a settlement, often referred to as an “if, as and when payment.”
Jolie and Pitt also partner with the Perrin family to produce Miraval rosé wine from their $40 million French country estate Chateau Miraval. For peripheral investments like these, Davis said divorced people usually remain engaged in business as it doesn’t require daily work or frequent face time.
If her filings are any indication, however, Jolie is more than confident in her earning potential.
“Declining spousal support in her filing signals to me that she has significant wealth and would likely not qualify for alimony,” Davis said.
Jolie’s request for full physical custody will result in a “reasonable” amount of child support paid by Pitt, should the court approve her proposed arrangement.
Numerous reports peg Pitt’s personal net worth at $240 million, and Jolie’s at $160 million.
The actor will next be seen in Robert Zemeckis‘ WWII drama “Allied,” due in theaters in November, and Jolie is reportedly prepping a sequel to her live-action Disney hit “Maleficent.”