For half a decade now, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s custody battle has dominated their lives.
A previous judge’s ruling was voided when that judge was disqualified.
Brad Pitt’s team appealed this change, asking that the allegedly compromised judge’s ruling be allowed to stand.
The California Supreme Court said "no."
In September, Brad Pitt’s attorneys petitioned the high court.
They were hoping that the Supreme Court of California would review the custody case.
Judge John Ouderkirk, who had previously ruled on the custody agreement, had ben disqualified.
It had been Ouderkirk who issued the ruling that benefitted Brad.
That order allowed Brad more time with the five minor children whom he shares with his ex, Angelina Jolie.
The appellate court previously disqualified that decision.
On Wednesday, October 27, the court upheld the appellate court’s decision.
"Petition and stay denied," the California Supreme Court announced.
This decision affirms the November 2018 custody arrangement.
Maddox Jolie is a legal adult and is not directly governed by any of this.
Instead, the custody war was regarding 17-year-old Pax, 16-year-old Zahara, 15-year-old Shiloh, and 13-year-olds Vivienne and Knox.
Custody is almost always a divisive and emotional topic, and that is certainly the case here.
As for Ouderkirk’s disqualification that rendered his decision null and void … that’s much simpler than most custody cases.
Ouderkirk was hired during the couple’s ongoing and contentious custody war.
As part of that hiring, the judge was required to make mandatory disclosures about any ties to either party.
In July, Ouderkirk was disqualified for failing to make those disclosures.
Specifically, he was found to have not divulged his involvement in other legal proceedings with Brad Pitt’s attorneys.
The court’s opinion was that an objective person with all of the facts of the case could and likely would reasonably doubt Ouderkirk’s impartiality.
In less legal terms, based upon arguments from both sides, it goes like this:
When you hire a judge to review your case, both sides need to be fully aware of all possible conflicts of interest.
If the judge is regularly hired by one of the attorneys, even if the judge is wholly impartial, they are still receiving money from a "repeat customer."
Naturally, Pitt’s attorneys are wringing their hands about how this is a technical disqualification.
They insist that the facts of the case made the ruling sound and fair and that Ouderkirk’s ruling was the correct one regardless.
They also allege that Angelina Jolie knew all along of Ouderkirk’s additional ties, but waited years to bring them up in an appeal.
Jolie’s attorneys naturally disagree with the characterization that Ouderkirk’s ruling was in the children’s best interests.
While they fall short of accusing him of corruption, they did of course acknowledge that their client is celebrating the ruling.
She did express, through her attorneys, that it is cause for celebration that no "unethical behavior" will guide her children’s futures.
Pitt’s inner circle have spoken to the press multiple times as "inside sources" to shade Jolie throughout this.
They have claimed that her initial accusation of child-abuse against her then-husband, which prompted her to file for divorce and report him to the FBI, was malicious.
They have also alleged that Pitt is a good father.
Meanwhile, Pitt’s own adult son, Maddox, reportedly testified against him during the custody battle.
His testimony was said to not be flattering.
Additionally, Maddox is reportedly dropping the "Pitt" surname, going by Maddox Jolie. We wish Maddox the very best.