The legal battle between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt: Last Friday the lawyers of both parties presented their arguments in a remote hearing of the court of appeal. Robert Olson, Jolie’s attorney, asked to remove Judge John W. Ouderkirk from the case on the childcare. The actress had already made this request last November, but it was denied. The last appeal hearing was sustained less than two months after Pitt obtained joint custody in an interim sentence of five of the six children the former couple shares: Pax, 17, Zahara, 16, Shiloh, 14, Vivienne, 12, and Knox, 12; the eldest son Maddox, since he is 19 years old, is legally considered an adult and is not subject to custody.
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During Friday’s hearing, Angelina Jolie’s lawyer argued that the judge was impartial in the case on child custody, as he is working on other legal issues involving Brad Pitt’s attorney. Angelina Jolie’s lawyer said the actress “was shocked that this was happening. Ms. Jolie knew nothing about what happened between Pitt’s lawyer and the judge,” Olson said. Theodore Boutrous, Brad Pitt’s lawyer, responded by arguing that the actress knew about the potential conflict of interest all time. The decision to remove the judge has not yet been made and Ouderkirk continues to work on the case.
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Kelly Chang Rickert, a family law lawyer who attended the hearing remotely, told Entertainment Tonight that Jolie is “fighting a lost battle” in his opinion: “If Ouderkirk had sided with Angelina and granted her exclusive custody, she would never have filed this appeal, she would not have challenged the sentence as impartial. The only reason he is contesting it is because he lost,” said Rickert who also explained that it is not unusual in “difficult custody cases like this” for the parties to continue fighting until the children have grown up: “because when the children have grown up, they are outside the jurisdiction of the courts,” as once they turn 18 they are considered adults in all respects.
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Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt clash: a legal fight that has been going on since 2016
Entertainment Tonight last May he reported that Pitt had obtained joint custody of the children thanks to Ouderkirk’s ruling; “All Brad has always wanted is to have joint custody of his children and is relieved that the court has decided in his favor,” a source had reported to Et, “Brad can’t wait to spend more time with them. He’s incredibly happy.” Angelina Jolie argued that Judge Ouderkirk denied her “a fair trial, improperly ruling out evidence brought by her that is relevant to the health, safety and well-being of children, crucial evidence to her case.” The plaintiff also stated that the judge “did not adequately consider” a section of the California judicial code, which says it is harmful in the best interest of the child if custody is assigned to a person with a history of domestic violence. The actress filed for divorce from Brad Pitt in 2016 and exclusive custody of the children; in addition, Jolie had claimed to have evidence of alleged domestic violence against Pitt. The actor, however, was cleared of child abuse charges by both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Child and Family Services as early as 2016.