The Judge In Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt’s Divorce Fight Has Been Removed By An Appeals Court 

July 24, 2021 / Posted by:

The already zillion-year divorce and custody battle between Angelina Jolie, 46, and Brad Pitt, 57, just racked up another century in which to stretch itself out at leisure, dip its toes in the water, and order another round of piña coladas while it waits for its order of sticky chicken wings with extra sauce to emerge from the hotel kitchen. And why not? This petty, prickly mess isn’t going anywhere, so we all just need to settle in and admit that we’re five years older than we were when it started and should begin setting out a lawn chair while waiting for our first AARP newsletters to arrive in the mail.

Angelina’s side has been trying to get the judge in their divorce case removed, and People reports that she’s finally succeeded. This means that Brad no longer has temporary joint custody of the kids. It also means that this tedious, bitter AF custody mess is heading for more mind-numbing season renewals and botched incisions than Grey’s Anatomy.

Back in October 2020, we learned that Angelina’s initial request for the removal of Judge John W. Ouderkirk had been denied. She’d accused Judge Ouderkirk and Brad’s attorneys, Anne C. Kiley and Lance Spiegel, of scheming together to bring her down and work in Brad’s favor only, though it was this judge who had officiated at their wedding in 2014 and acted as judge for the two of them in other matters while they were still married. Ultimately, Angie’s team had failed to prove bias at the time, and Judge Ouderkirk stayed assigned to the case. Not this time, but the reason here was due to more of a technicality. via People:

A new decision has shaken up Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s child custody case.

While the actor, 57, had previously been awarded more time with the former couple’s five minor children by Judge John Ouderkirk in May, that decision is now reversed after a three-judge panel disqualified Ouderkirk from the case citing a violation of “his ethical obligations,” according to an opinion submitted to the court on Friday.

The Second District Court of Appeal in California sided with Jolie’s argument that Ouderkirk, who had been serving as their temporary judge, could be biased in his rulings considering he had failed to disclose his business relationships with Pitt’s attorneys.

The panel of three appellate judges made note that after Pitt requested a new custody hearing in June of 2020, Samantha Bley DeJean, Angelina’s attorney, asked the judge if he was working on any new cases with Pitt’s lawyers. Judge Ouderkirk confirmed he was working on two cases with them that had begun in 2019 and was also still working on one case he previously thought was completed in 2018, but neglected to mention was still in progress. Oops. People again:

Pitt previously agreed that, if the panel found Ouderkirk disqualified, the custody arrangement between him and Jolie would revert back to the parenting plan established prior in November 2018, according to the appellate opinion.

The judges who oversaw the hearing earlier this month noted Ouderkirk’s “failure to make mandatory disclosures” about other legal proceedings involving Pitt’s legal counseling “might cause an objective person, aware of all of the facts” to doubt Ouderkirk’s impartiality in the case, the court opinion read.

A spokesperson for Pitt tells PEOPLE, “The appeals court ruling was based on a technical procedural issue. The facts haven’t changed. There is an extraordinary amount of factual evidence which led the judge—and the many experts who testified—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.”

It’s been a busy year for this beachside lounging, cocktail-sipping divorce, with a few new installments: Angelina claimed she was prepared to show proof of domestic violence and have three of the children testify; Maddox allegedly testified against Brad; and Brad won temporary joint custody of the kids in May after Judge Ouderkirk denied Angelina’s request to let the younger children testify, which did not impress her one bit. And anyone within sputtering distance of her angry forehead vein was probably looking for a roll of paper towels at the time and cursing about wearing white.

It’s hard to imagine any of their kids are still under 30 at this point, but only Maddox, 19, has aged out of the custody considerations. The remaining children are still minors:  Pax, 17, Zahara, 16, Shiloh, 15, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 13. At this rate, they’ll celebrate their 18th birthdays while Mom and Dad are still tossing grenades at each other from their luxury nursing homes and fighting over which font to use on the label of their 2058 Château Miraval Rosé.


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