On Monday, Angelina Jolie submitted documents to California’s Second District Court of Appeal in an attempt to disqualify Judge John Ouderkirk from ruling over the case.
Not all celebrity marriages end in a happily-ever-after. While some are amicable, others are far from it, especially when there are children involved. Unfortunately, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's complicated relationship falls in the latter category. When the two first got together, people couldn't stop gushing about the power couple, but six kids later they went their separate ways and thus began a custody battle which finally came to an end yesterday.
Pitt was reportedly granted joint custody of his children and the lengthy court battle finally came to an end. "He's so relieved. His only intention is to spend more time with the kids," a close source told Daily Mail about the 57-year-old actor who fought almost 5 years to obtain equal rights to his six kids he shares with his former wife. After carefully examining months of testimony from witnesses and child service professionals who interviewed the kids, Judge John Ouderkirk made his decision, per Page Six.
"There was a significant change made in the custody agreements based on an extremely detailed decision made by the judge," noted the insider. "Brad was just trying to have more time with his kids — and it has been clear that Angie has done everything possible to prevent this. This trial lasted for several months and there were a f**k ton of witnesses, experts, therapists and other people who have been with the kids and around them, and the decision was based on this," they added. Although the judge has made his decision, Jolie reportedly plans on continuing her legal fight.
"Joint custody is not the issue that Angelina objects to, there were other issues of concern, but the court proceedings are closed and sealed," continued the source. "There was a safety order surrounding the previous custody arrangements, that is public, and the kids schedule has been set under the jurisdiction of the division of family services for over three years." Recently, the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider actress even tried to get the case dismissed by claiming that she is being denied a "fair trial" as the judge "refused to hear the minor teenagers" testimony in regards to their "custody fate."
On Monday, the 45-year-old star submitted documents to California’s Second District Court of Appeal in an attempt to disqualify Judge John Ouderkirk from ruling over the case. According to the Associated Press, Jolie claimed that the judge "has failed to adequately consider ... input as to their experiences, needs, or wishes," something which violates a state legal code allowing minors (ages 14 to 17) to testify. Five of their six kids are minors, i.e. Maddox, who is 19, Pax, 17, Zahara, 16. 14-year-old Shiloh and 12-year-old twins Vivienne.
The Maleficient star's legal team told the appellate court that the judge has neglected to let the mother-of-six submit evidence to the court that reveals the safety and well-being of minors and that the evidence is "critical to making her case." However, Pitt's legal team fought back saying that the presiding judge "has conducted an extensive proceeding over the past six months in a thorough, fair manner and reached a tentative ruling and order after hearing from experts and percipient witnesses."
The Fight Club actor's attorneys claimed that Jolie's testimony "lacked credibility in many important areas, and the existing custody order between the parties must be modified, per Mr. Pitt’s request, in the best interests of the children." Pitt's lawyers further noted that more stalling of the custody agreement would cause "grave harm upon the children, who will be further denied permanence and stability."
The Mr. and Mrs. Smith stars were together for 12 years, of which they were married for two years, according to Elle. But in September 2016, Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt citing the "health of the family." He allegedly lost his temper on their eldest child, Maddox, which prompted Jolie to file for sole custody. According to Daily Mail, the Academy-winning actor did not face any charges in connection with the incident following probes carried out by social services and the FBI.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by (L) Amy Sussman, Getty for Netflix (R) Monica Schipper