17 AUGUST 2005

Click here to send this news item to a friend Having lived their break-up in the public eye, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt are apparently determined to keep details of their divorce under wraps. The former couple have hired a private judge to ensure the exact nature of the settlement remains secret.

By paying £300-an-hour temporary judge Jill Robbins to oversee proceedings in the office of the pair's lawyers, Brad and Jennifer ensure no open court papers become available to the public. "This is a rent-a-judge situation," says celebrity divorce lawyer Raoul Felder. "It is something that can only be done in the state of California."

Once Hollywood's golden couple, the stars split in January after four-and-a-half years of marriage. Since then Brad has been spending time with his Mr And Mrs Smith co-star Angelina Jolie and her two adopted children. No third party is mentioned in the divorce papers, however, with Jennifer simply citing "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for the demise of the relationship.

As California is a "no fault" state, their assets – which total £100 million - will be split 50/50 unless they come to a private arrangement. The completion date for the divorce is June 30, 2007.

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Having undergone a headline-making separation, Hollywood's former golden couple seem determined to keep the lid on the details of their divorce Click on photo to enlarge

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