Court Disqualifies Private Judge in Jolie-Pitt Divorce Case

Angelina Jolie won appeal to disqualify judge from her divorce case, adding another victory to her legal battle with Brad Pitt.

The world-famous actors separated in 2016, and Jolie filed for divorce shortly after.

They had been fighting in court for custody of their children since their split.

In may this year, private judge John Ouderkirk granted Pitt joint custody.

However, a California court approved Jolie’s appeal to remove him from their divorce case on Friday, saying that Judge Ouderkirk did not disclose his business relationships with the actor’s legal representatives.

The court said it was an “ethical breach” that might “cast doubt on the judge’s ability to be impartial.”

Friday’s ruling means the famous couple have to meet in court again to restart the legal battle over their five minor children custody before a new judge.

Judge Ouderkirk, as well as other private judges, is often hired to mediate disputes and ensure privacy in celebrities’ divorces.

Jolie’s representatives have not yet commented on the recent ruling.

However, following Judge Ouderkirk’s decision, a source told the media that the actress considered she and their children had been denied a “fair trial.”

She also criticized the fact that their children were not allowed to testify in custody hearings.

In response to the California’s court announcement, a spokesperson for Pitt said the ruling had been “based on a technical issue.”

The spokesperson stated that the “factual evidence” behind May’s custody ruling had not changed.

The legal dispute concerns five of their six children: Pax (17), Zahara (16), Shiloh (15), and twins Vivienne and Knox (13).

The oldest children, Maddox (19), is not subject to custody ruling.

The pair announced a custody settlement in 2018, but it appears to have fallen apart.

“Brangelina,” affectionately named by fans, met at the set of 2004 action film Mr and Mrs Smith.

The Hollywood celebrities got married in 2014 after ten years together.

But they announced their split in 2016, after just two years of marriage, citing ‘irreconcilable differences.”

Pitt was also investigated for child abuse before his former wife filed for divorced.