After months of back-and-forth in court, it appears a “tentative” decision has been made in Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s custody battle.
The 57-year-old actor has been in a legal war with his ex for nearly five years over equal time with their kids. Now, Judge John Ouderkirk has decided to award Brad just what he has been fighting for: joint legal and physical custody of their younger children, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, Vivienne, and Knox. This does not include eldest and most vocally anti-Brad son Maddox, who is 19 years old.
The judge’s ruling was based on extensive testimony from people who spent time with the children such as therapists and child services professionals. On Wednesday, a source close to Pitt told Entertainment Tonight how thrilled the Fight Club star is over the decision, saying:
“All Brad ever wanted was to have joint custody of his children and he is relieved that the court ruled in his favor. This is a huge deal given the prior arrangement with the children. Brad can’t wait to spend more time with them. He’s incredibly happy.”
And while he may be excited, it looks like Angelina is not content to let the ruling stand. A source close to the momma explained to People how “joint custody is not the issue that Angelina objects to, there were other issues of concern, but the court proceedings are close and sealed.” Inneresting… So what part does she exactly have an issue with?
According to the Associated Press, the 45-year-old actress recently filed a complaint with the court against Ouderkirk over his handling of the case. The Oscar winner claimed the judge wouldn’t allow their teenagers to testify, thus “improperly excluding [Angelina’s] evidence relevant to the children’s health, safety, and welfare, evidence critical to making her case.” Furthermore, he “refused to hear the minor teenagers’ input as to their experiences, needs, or wishes as to their custody fate.” In case you didn’t know, a California law actually states that a child above the age of 14 can testify if they want to, which would make Pax, Zahara, and Shiloh eligible.
Now, it’s unclear what evidence Jolie is referring to or what she wanted the kids to speak about. However, the filmmaker filed documents back in March to provide “proof ” to support the allegations of domestic violence. Shortly after their 2016 split, Brad has been investigated for child abuse after an alleged altercation on a private jet with the pair’s then 15-year-old son Maddox. But the allegations against Brad were eventually cleared two months later.
In her complaint against Ouderkirk, Angelina also vowed to appeal his decision if he awarded Brad equal time. So it doesn’t look like this legal battle will be ending anytime soon after all… *sigh*
Thoughts on this latest ruling, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments (below).