Photo: Fred Duval / FilmMagic
More than four years after Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie announced their divorce, a decision has been made on a central issue: Earlier this month, a judge granted Pitt interim joint custody of the couple’s minor children. The move comes after a months-long trial involving what a source described to “Page Six” as “a ton of witnesses, experts, therapists and others who have been with and around the children. .
Since Jolie filed for divorce, she has fought for sole custody of their six children. While neither she nor Pitt have publicly shared details of the incident that catalyzed their split, it appears to have been an argument aboard their private jet in 2016, in which Jolie’s camp said Pitt was become verbally and physically violent. Investigations have cleared the actor of wrongdoing, but in court documents on May 24, Jolie reportedly said the judge “did not sufficiently take into account” part of the California code dealing with custody and custody. domestic violence. (Presumably, the article which says that granting custody to “a person who has committed domestic violence is prejudicial to the best interests of the child.”) She is appealing the decision, arguing that the judge [her] a fair trial, unduly excluding his evidence relevant to the health, safety and well-being of children, evidence essential to defend his case ”, according to Us weekly.
There is, as you can see, a lot of information to digest here. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
When Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt in September 2016, ending their 12-year relationship and two years of marriage, she applied for sole custody of their children: Maddox (now 19), Pax (now 17) ), Zahara (now 16), Shiloh (now 14), and twins Knox and Vivienne (now 12). Jolie cited “irreconcilable differences,” and from the start, the tabloid sources had a lot to say. To quote the TMZ report at the time, Jolie’s folks said she was “fed up” with Brad’s weed and possibly alcohol consumption, and was mixed in with it. ‘she thought she was “an anger problem”… felt that it was becoming dangerous for the children. Pitt’s camp immediately denied the allegations, telling the website that “he is a loving and dedicated father who has never and would never want to put his children in a dangerous situation.” Pitt also issued a statement directly to People: “I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the well-being of our children.”
Within days, the divorce headlines – a tabloid bombshell – focused on reports that the FBI and the Los Angeles Department of Child and Family Services were investigating Pitt for child abuse. children, on an alleged incident that allegedly took place on the family. private plane. Acknowledging that “the details of precisely what happened” were “obscure,” TMZ reported that, on a flight back to the United States from France, Pitt and Jolie allegedly “started arguing and Maddox leapt up. to verbally defend his mother ”. The tabloid continued, “We were told Brad then rushed at the boy and Angelina jumped between them to block her husband. Brad somehow connected with his son. Maddox would have been 15 at the time.
Pitt’s Corner described the situation differently from People. He “was drunk,” a source admitted, “and there was an argument between him and Angelina. “Although” there was a parent-child argument that was not handled in the right way and escalated more than it should have, “this person explained, Pitt was nonetheless” adamant that she did not reach the level of physical violence, that no one was physically injured. He did not hit his child in the face in any way. … He put his hands on him, yes, because the confrontation was getting out of hand. Another source described the abuse allegations at People as “a combination of hype and lies,” but in the midst of this tabloid war, a judge granted Jolie full custody for three weeks.
More information about the incident reportedly surfaced in October, extending the FBI’s investigation, which allegedly involved talks with Jolie and her children. Meanwhile, Pitt continued to seek joint custody, much to Jolie’s dismay. And then, in November, the DCFS and FBI said their investigations failed to find any evidence Pitt had been abusive on the plane or in general. In December, Pitt filed a motion to seal all custody-related documents in the case, saying releasing the details in public caused the children “unnecessary pain.” A judge turned down his request, but in January 2017 the couple reportedly agreed to settle the whole case privately in the future.
And for a while, that’s it: in May, he spoke to GQ to stop drinking (he apparently went to rehab after the divorce) and to control his emotions in order to do better through the kids, while Jolie kept a low profile on the whole situation. Despite some reports of hardship in August 2018, Jolie separated from divorce lawyer Laura Wasser; She and Pitts’ respective sources have started a rocky back-and-forth over child support payments – the couple reportedly called a “truce” in September. In the spring of 2019, they branched off their marriage and became legally single. In May 2020, they would have reached “cordial conditions”.
In August 2020, Jolie reportedly sought to have Judge John W. Ouderkirk removed from the case, which he had supervised since 2017. During a court filing, Jolie’s attorney argued that Ouderkirk “n “had not disclosed” certain “current business and professional relationships” that he allegedly had with Pitt’s attorney. The couple hired Ouderkirk – who is said to have officiated their marriage – to handle the case, in an effort to keep the proceedings as private as possible. Yet in the record, Jolie’s team said that “under California law, disqualification is required as long as a person with knowledge of the facts” could reasonably be in doubt “about Judge Ouderkirk’s ability to remain impartial. . ” His request was denied.
In March, Jolie reportedly filed documents claiming she had “evidence and authority to support” her child abuse allegations against Pitt, and asked that minors be allowed to testify. Maddox, it then appeared, had already testified, and according to Us weekly sources, “It wasn’t very flattering for Brad. In any case, Ouderkirk again rejected Jolie’s request: according to documents she filed this week, he “refused to hear comments from underage adolescents as to their experiences, needs or wishes regarding their spell of custody, ”although a section of the California code would allow children 14 and over to testify if they so choose.
For now, Pitt can “spend a lot more time with the kids,” says source People, adding that the custody trial involved “witnesses, experts, people who have been with the children. The children’s voices were heard, but they just did not testify. Meanwhile, a source allegedly close to Jolie said “shared custody is not the issue Angelina opposes, there were other areas of concern, but the legal process is closed and sealed.”