Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are unsurprisingly all over the internet again. The now-separated couple filed for divorce in 2016 but their divorce proceedings are far from over.
The two actors had announced in January 2017 that they would use a private judge to finalise their divorce. But on Monday, Angelina Jolie approached the Los Angeles Superior Court seeking dismissal of the private judge, John W. Ouderkirk, handling their case.
Latest bone of contention in legal split
Angelina Jolie filed to get Judge John W. Ouderkirk out of the case on 10 August 2020. Her complaint questioned Ouderkirk’s willingness to remain impartial.
According to Jolie’s application filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Judge John W Ouderkirk had failed to disclose his past and present business dealings with one of Brad Pitt’s lawyers, Anne C Kiley. And Pitt’s lawyer had pressed on to extend Ouderkirk’s appointment though Jolie’s lawyers opposed having Ouderkirk as a judge in their case.
It is clear that Judge Ouderkirk had deals benefiting him from the Pitt camp. Given the conflict of interest, he might continue to rule in favour of one party. Thus, Jolie’s request for a new judge. Brad’s team, however, is still keen on having Ouderkirk as the judge in the case.
Opting a private judge for separation
The Hollywood heart-throbs opted for a private judge to keep their legal separation under wraps. They did not want the details of their divorce leaking to the press and public or anyone else for that matter.
The joint statement they issued in January 2017:
“The parties and their counsel have signed agreements to preserve the privacy rights of their children and family by keeping all court documents confidential and engaging a private judge to make any necessary legal decisions and to facilitate the expeditious resolution of any remaining issues. The parents are committed to act as a united front to effectuate recovery and reunification.”
Bifurcated divorce judgment in 2019
In law, divorces are finalised typically by a single judgment. However, a bifurcated judgment is given when the parties’ want to dissolve the marriage but don’t reach an agreement on other issues, such as property division, child support, maintenance, or custody.
Brad and Angelina requested and received a bifurcated judgement in 2019. After the judgement, they are legally single and free to marry if they desire. However, another judgement on the case concerning custody of children, child support and financial issues, among other issues, remain.
Angelina lobbied Brad for a permanent custody agreement concerning their five children, all under 18, and sought more for child support. There are issues remaining to resolve between the two celebrated actors.
It’s not clear how things are going to progress from here, but obviously this is a hot button problem for Angelina Jolie and her staff. Neither Anne C Kiley nor John W Ouderkirk has responded to media requests for comment.
Keep visiting us for follow-up details about the case.
Ending 12 years of Brangelina
The couple decided to part their ways after 12 years of a romantic relationship.
Brad and Angelina fell in love in 2004 while shooting for Mr and Mrs Smith, a 2005 release. They did not tie the knot until August 2014. In the 10-year period they stayed together, they raised six children: three adopted and Jolie gave birth to another three.
After two years of formalising their union, the two decided to part ways in September 2016.
Besides the legal issues, Jolie and Pitt are reportedly on friendly terms as they inch closer to reaching a resolution.
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