Just when we thought that the bitter custody battle between former spouses is coming to a peaceful end, Jolie threw a curveball. The custody arrangement was put together by lawyers and was about to be signed by both parties. However, it turns out that Jolie’s lawyer, Robert Olson, has one more ace up his sleeve.
Angelina Jolie accused the presiding judge, John W. Ouderkirk, of being biased based on his professional, and possibly private, ties to Pitt’s attorneys. Her claim was upheld by the 2nd District Court, which means that the whole process is going to start from scratch. “Judge Ouderkirk’s ethical breach, considered together with the information disclosed concerning his recent professional relationships with Pitt’s counsel, might cause an objective person, aware of all the facts, reasonably to entertain a doubt as to the judge’s ability to be impartial. Disqualification is required”, the ruling read.
In August of 2023, Jolie asked the presiding judge to voluntarily remove himself from the process, which he declined.
On the other side, Pitt’s lawyers stated that the whole case was tossed based on a technicality, and accused Jolie of trying to obstruct the custody agreement. “There is an extraordinary amount of factual evidence which led the judge to reach their clear conclusion about what is in the children’s best interests. We will continue to do what’s necessary legally based on the detailed findings of what’s best for the children”, stated the actor’s attorneys.
Still, Jolie is awarded a new process with a different judge. The actress didn’t give any statements, but her lawyer said that “matters that should have been disclosed were not disclosed”. Olson said that judge Ouderkirk as being the paid private judge should have played by the rules.
The couple announced their relationship for the first time back in 2005 after a very public affair that resulted in Pitt divorcing Jennifer Aniston. At the time, Jolie had two adopted children, Maddox (19) and Zahara (16). During their romance, and later married in 2012, the couple also adopted Pax (17) from Vietnam in 2007. Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt is their first biological child born in 2006. Later, the couple welcomed twins in 2008, Knox and Vivienne.
In 2016 Angelina Jolie filed for a divorce claiming irreconcilable differences. It took three years before the couple was officially separated. The custody hearings began in 2019, with the couple going back and forth with their requests. They seem to be in total disagreement when it comes to raising their children. For over a year they were locked without any hope of finding a middle ground.
And so, the saga continues. Two years of custody hearings were thrown out. Let’s just hope that they manage to reach some sort of arrangement before all children turn 18.