Brad Pitt's lawyers are accusing Angelina Jolie of delaying the couple's ongoing divorce due to an upcoming custody trial that could lead to the actor getting more custody of the children they share — Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, Knox, and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt — according to legal documents obtained Friday by The Blast.
The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star's legal team claims Jolie's recent objection to the private judge in their care on the basis of impartiality is a delay tactic for keeping their current custody agreement the same, despite Pitt asking for joint custody of the children following their original child care settlement. Pitt's lawyer said in the documents that the "timing of Jolie's request for disqualification shows that it was filed purely for strategic reasons."
"First, Jolie's request for disclosures came immediately on the heels of the custody issues in this case being set for hearing in October 2020, dates her own counsel requested," the filing states. "In that proceeding, the Court will rule on Pitt's request to modify, which Jolie opposes." The attorney continued to argue that Jolie simply wants to postpone the inevitable ruling that her ex-husband be granted more time with their children.
"Jolie's Iate suggestion of judicial bias smacks far more of tactical opportunism than anything else. Indeed, the timing of her request for disqualification confirms that it was filed for the improper purpose of postponing the upcoming hearing on custody issues and thereby preserve the status quo," according to the documents, which also accused the Maleficent actress of stalling to prevent a doctor involved in the case from testifying on Pitt's behalf.
"Second‚ the appointment of Dr. Katz as PPC expires in November 2020. A postponement of the October 2020 trial date would push the trial date past Dr. Katz’s appointment‚ which Jolie may use to attempt to exclude Dr. Katz from testifying at triaI‚ although there is no basis supporting it," Pitt's attorney wrote. "Jolie's, perhaps legitimate‚ concern that the custody arrangement will be altered is no occasion for her and her attorneys to abuse procedural rules intended for serious infractions of judicial officers." For that reason, Pitt's lawyers asked that Jolie's motion to disqualify the judge in their case be called "legally meritless."
This is just another legal squabble between the two actors, who have been fighting over the custody of their children for years following their decision to file for divorce in 2016. Jolie accused Pitt of assaulting their son, Maddox, that same year during a fight on a private jet. While Pitt was investigated for child abuse, he was never charged, and the two have since reached a private custody agreement.