Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Photograph:( Twitter )
Jolie has sought to disqualify Judge John Ouderkirk from the divorce case and stated in her filing on Monday that he declined to hear evidence she says is relevant to the children's safety.
Hollywood star Angelina Jolie has criticised a judge in court filing after he refused to testify her and Brad Pitt's children in a case related to the couple's divorce. The judge is handling the child custody case in Pitt-Jolie's divorce case.
Jolie has sought to disqualify Judge John Ouderkirk from the divorce case and stated in her filing on Monday that he declined to hear evidence she says is relevant to the children's safety and well-being before issuing a tentative ruling. The documents don't specify on what that evidence may be. Jolie has accused Pitt of domestic violence and had stated that their children would testify if there was a need for it.
"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," according to the filing in California's Second District Court of Appeal.
The actress also said the judge "has failed to adequately consider" a section of the California courts code, which says it is detrimental to the best interest of the child if custody is awarded to a person with a history of domestic violence.
Jolie sought divorce from Pitt in 2016, days after a disagreement broke out on private flight ferrying the actors and their children from France to Los Angeles. Pitt was accused of being abusive toward his then-15-year-old son during the flight. No charges were filed against the actor after investigations by child welfare officials and the FBI did not yield anything concrete against him. Jolie's lawyer had at that time said that she sought a divorce "for the health of the family."
Pitt and Jolie have six children together of which four are teenagers with the oldest- Maddox being 19 year old.
According to laws in California, children above 14 can testify in court if they wish to. In her new filing, Jolie states that judge has "refused to hear minor teenagers' input in relation to the case.
Reacting to Jolie's filing, Pitt's lawyer stated, "Ouderkirk has conducted an extensive proceeding over the past six months in a thorough, fair manner and reached a tentative ruling and order after hearing from experts and percipient witnesses."
Pitt's filing said the judge found Jolie's testimony "lacked credibility in many important areas, and the existing custody order between the parties must be modified, per Mr. Pitt’s request, in the best interests of the children."
In 2016, when Jolie had filed for divorce, Pitt had asked for joint custody while the actress had sought for single and physical custody of the kids. Over the years, its been reported that the actress has changed her stand with ongoing proceedings.
Jolie, 45, and Pitt, 57, were among Hollywood's most prominent couples for 12 years. They had been married for two years when Jolie filed for divorce. They legally got separated in April 2019 even though other issues remained unresolved including finances and child custody.