The custody fight between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, despite Jolie’s declarations, is far from over.
The latest twist comes over a legal filing by Jolie and her lawyer that Pitt believes was purposefully filed to make him look bad. Here’s what you need to know:
The new filing basically makes details surrounding the Jolie-Pitt case public before either asked to keep the case private.
Pitt and Jolie agreed to certain preconditions before taking their custody trial before a court. For example, Jolie requested that Pitt undergo drug and alcohol testing four times a month, and the couple is attending group therapy with their children — Maddox, Vivienne, Knox, Shiloh, Zahara, and Pax — according to a The Daily Mail reporter who viewed the document.
This stipulation has been called the “October Stipulation.”
The details contained in the October Stipulation are personal. They include their children’s therapy schedules, for example. At the beginning of December, Jolie’s lawyer, Laura Wasser, filed the stipulation in court.
By doing so, she entered those details into the court record and made them public before either Pitt or Jolie asked a judge to keep the case private.
Pitt then asked the court to seal the documents after Jolie’s filing.
Days later on December 6, Pitt’s lawyer, Lance Spiegel asked the court to seal all the documents relating to his divorce and custody battle with Jolie, according to TMZ. He accused Jolie of making the documents public on purpose, instead of waiting for the court to rule to seal the documents beforehand, which would protect the privacy of Pitt, Jolie, and their children.
In other words, their separate filings make it seem as though Pitt would rather have the custody battle play out in private, while Jolie would rather do it in public.
It is worth pointing out, however, that neither Pitt nor Spiegel took action to keep the case private before the filing.
In the end, the court denied Pitt’s request to seal documents related to the divorce proceedings.
Pitt’s lawyer claims Jolie’s legal team filed the October Stipulation to retaliate against his desire for more custody time.
In an email to Pitt’s lawyer Lance Spiegel on December 2, Wasser wrote that she filed the October Stipulation in court because the Pitt camp was unresponsive about crucial custody decisions, and because “Brad intends to file [a request for a court order] for increased custodial time next week and that nothing the therapists say during our meeting on Monday will change Brad’s position.”
Pitt’s lawyer, according to an email obtained by The Daily Mail, said that Jolie filed the October Stipulation in a public way as a retaliation after Pitt said he wanted more custody time.
“Based on Ms. Wasser’s email dated December 2, the unauthorised filing of the October Stipulation was caused by [Jolie’s] reaction to [Pitt’s attorney] having advised her counsel that [Pitt’s] time with the children should be increased,” he wrote in the email.
So, what does that all mean?
The custody battle will continue to play out in public, with every court filing about the case entering the court’s public record. At least until the two meet in court again in January, according to The Daily Beast, when the judge might decide to seal court records.
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