Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt started their divorce journey in September 2016 and still can’t find a resolution.
The 45-year-old actress claimed in court documents obtained by Us Weekly that Judge John W. Ouderkirk — a private judge who was hired in 2017 to oversee their case — failed to disclose “ongoing business and professional relationships” with Pitt, 56.
Ouderkirk has another link to the former couple. He officiated their August 2014 wedding in France.
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“All my client is asking for is a fair trial based on facts, with no special favors extended to either side,” Jolie’s lawyer, Samantha Bley DeJean, told the outlet. “The only way litigants can trust the process is for everyone involved to ensure that there’s transparency and impartiality.”
The filing said that during the Jolie-Pitt proceedings, Ouderkirk has allegedly “failed to disclose the cases that demonstrated the current, ongoing, repeat-customer relationship between the judge and Respondent’s counsel.”
It goes on to say that Pitt’s attorney “actively advocated for Judge Ouderkirk’s financial interests in moving — over the opposing party’s opposition — to have his appointment (and his ability to continue to receive fees) extended in a high profile case.”
Meanwhile, Pitt’s team responded saying that Jolie was aware and “never objected” to Ouderkirk’s “continued involvement” until now.
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In the documents, Pitt’s legal team accused Jolie of making a “transparently tactical gambit” to delay proceedings and said ultimately it will hurt their children the most.
“Unfortunately, the individuals hurt most by Jolie’s transparently tactical gambit are the parties’ own children, who continue to be deprived of a final resolution to these custody issues,” it reads.
Pitt and Jolie, like other high-profile couples, are paying for a private judge in their divorce case to keep many of its filings and the personal and financial details within them sealed, though some legal moves must be made within standard court procedure.
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The parents share six children together: Maddox, 19; Pax, 16; Zahara, 15; Shiloh, 14; Knox, 12; and Vivienne, 12, and called it quits after roughly 10 years together and two years of marriage.