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Angelina Jolie criticises judge’s decision to grant Brad Pitt more time with children

Angelina Jolie criticized a judge deciding on custody arrangements for her and Brad Pitt’s children during their divorce. Photograph: AP


Angelina Jolie criticises judge’s decision to grant Brad Pitt more time with children


Angelina Jolie’s persistent disputes with the court overseeing her divorce from Brad Pitt have escalated, with the actress objecting to Pitt being awarded extra time with their children.

Angelina Jolie has criticized a California judge for refusing to allow their children to testify, according to a court document.

The court has altered a custody agreement, allowing the Hollywood actor to spend much more time with the children he shares with Angelina Jolie.

A source tells PEOPLE that a sealed decision was made early this spring. John Ouderkirk tentatively awarded Pitt more custody over the former couple’s five minor children: Pax, 17, Zahara, 16, Shiloh, 14, and Knox and Vivienne, who turn 13 in July.  Maddox, their oldest child, is no longer involved in the custody battle.

In a court filing on Monday, Jolie, who has sought to have judge John Ouderkirk removed from the divorce case, said he refused to hear evidence she claims is essential to the children’s safety and well-being before giving a provisional verdict. The documents don’t go into detail on what that proof may be.

According to the petition in California’s second district court of appeal, “Judge Ouderkirk denied Ms Jolie a fair trial, improperly excluding her evidence relevant to the children’s health, safety, and welfare, evidence critical to making her case.”


The actor also claimed that the judge “failed to adequately consider” a part of the California courts law that states that awarding custody to someone with a history of domestic violence is harmful to the child’s best interests. Her petition was vague about the type of domestic abuse she was referring to.

The couple, who separated in 2018, appeared to have achieved an amiable agreement concerning their children — three biological and three adoptive – but it now looks to have fallen apart. They’ve been embroiled in a secret court fight since, with Pitt, 57, apparently seeking shared custody and Jolie, 45, seeking sole custody.

A source close to Pitt, 57, tells PEOPLE that the actor “has always wanted what is best for the kids, and to spend time with them,” in response to the verdict.

“A few weeks ago, the judge’s decision came down after a months long trial,” the insider continues. “Brad has been awarded significantly more time with the kids. He had had very limited time before.”

According to the source, the tentative decision was taken based on testimony from “witnesses, experts, people who have been with the kids. The children’s voices were heard, but they just didn’t testify themselves.”

Jolie filed for divorce in 2016, only days after a dispute erupted on a private airplane transporting the stars and their children from France to Los Angeles. During the trip, Pitt was accused of being abusive to his then-15-year-old son, but child welfare officials and the FBI investigated, and yet no charges were filed against the actor. Jolie’s lawyer stated at the time that she was seeking a divorce “for the family’s health.”

While the current judgement is provisional and not final, records seen by the AFP reveal that a privately appointed judge has determined “the existing custody order between the parties must be modified, per Mr Pitt’s request.”

According to the documents, the court concluded Jolie’s “testimony lacked credibility in many important areas” and that her attempt to overturn the new custody procedures would “work grave harm upon the children, who will be further denied permanence and stability”
According to a California legislation, any kid above the age of 14 should be permitted to weigh in on custody decisions, making Pax, Zahara, and Shiloh eligible to testify.

“Joint custody is not the issue that Angelina objects to,” a source close to Jolie adds. “There were other issues of concern, but the court proceedings are closed and sealed.”

Three of Jolie and Pitt’s six children are teenagers, 17-year-old Pax, 16-year-old Zahara, and 14-year-old Shiloh. The oldest, Maddox, is 19 and not subject to the custody decision. They also have 12-year-old twins, Vivienne and Knox.

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