Angelina Jolie succeeded in a court battle with ex-husband Brad Pitt. At her request, the judge who made custody of the couple’s child custody rights was taken out of the case due to a business relationship with Pitt’s lawyers. A custody conflict has been going on between movie stars since 2016, since Jolie filed for divorce.
The custody conflict began in September 2016 when Angelina Jolie filed for divorce. The actress’s lawyers then said that the reason for the separation was “irreconcilable differences” in the issue of raising children. The divorce decision was issued in April 2019. It was issued by California Supreme Court Judge John Ouderkirk. However, the issue of caring for six children raised by a couple was not resolved at that time. Due to the fact that the oldest Maddox had reached the age of majority, he was excluded from the dispute.
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Judge removed from the case. “Ethical Violation”
After the divorce, the couple hired judge John Ouderkirk as a “private judge” (in US law he is a neutral person resolving a private conflict). The Ouderkirk case lasted several months, and many people were interviewed, including witnesses, experts, therapists and social workers, who interviewed Jolie-Pitt’s children (all six have a double name).
In May 2021, Ouderkirk ruled that the couple would share custody of the children. On Friday, however, a California appeals court agreed with Jolie’s appeal to remove the judge from the case. In the ruling, the appeals court confirmed that Judge Ouderkirk had not disclosed his business relationships with Pitt’s lawyers. It was judged to be an “ethical breach” that could call into question “the judge’s ability to be impartial”.
A Brad Pitt spokesman said the California court ruling was based on a technical issue. He added that the “material evidence” that led Judge Ouderkirk to issue a custody judgment in May has not changed.
The actress’s representatives have yet to comment on Friday’s court ruling. However, after a child custody decision in May, one source told AFP that Jolie believed she and the children had been “denied a fair trial.”
The current appellate court ruling means the legal battle over the couple’s five underage children could start again in front of a new judge.
Jolie and Pitt, one of Hollywood’s most popular couples
The 45-year-old actress and the 57-year-old actor met on the set of the film “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” at the turn of 2003 and 2004. Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston at the time, and Jolie was divorced from her second husband – also actor Billy Bob Thornton. The couple’s fans quickly referred to them as “Brangelin”. They have become one of the most influential and popular couples in Hollywood.
In January 2006, Jolie confirmed that she was pregnant and the child was fathered by Pitt. They got married in August 2014. The ceremony was secret, even the father of the bride did not know about it.
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