Just when you think that things are going smoothly between ex-Hollywood couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, well think again because their never-ending divorce proceedings is definitely far from over.
The ex-couple’s divorce proceedings hit another snag. According to Entertainment Tonight (ET), Jolie's lawyer has responded to Pitt's legal team's opposition to her request “to remove the private judge in their divorce case, calling it an improper attempt to influence decisions.”
Jolie’s attorney, Samantha Bley DeJean, says in a statement that Jolie is simply asking for a fair trial.
“All my client is asking for is a fair trial based on facts, with no special favors extended to either side,” the statement reads. “The only way litigants can trust the process is for everyone involved to ensure that there's transparency and impartiality.”
Earlier this month, Jolie filed a request to have Judge John W. Ouderkirk taken off her and Pitt's case, three years after he was assigned to oversee their divorce case.
The Oscar-winning actress alleged that Ouderkirk “failed to make timely mandatory disclosures of ongoing business and professional relationships between himself” and Pitt’s attorneys.
Jolie also claimed that the judge didn't inform her and her legal team of other divorce cases he was working on with Pitt's lawyers, which made him "biased."
Pitt's legal team hit back in his own court filing, accusing Jolie of attempting to stall the case ahead of their October child custody trial and claiming that Ouderkirk's engagements involving Pitt's counsel were "fully disclosed" to Jolie.
The court documents claim: “Jolie filed her request to disqualify Judge Ouderkirk and in the process delay consideration of deposition testimony and other evidence. 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."
Jolie's latest court documents claim that Ouderkirk himself said there were "errors" in his disclosure of his cases involving Pitt's attorneys.
The documents also state that Jolie was not aware of the extent of the ongoing relationship between the judge and Pitt's counsel until July, when Ouderkirk disclosed that there were multiple cases he was still working on that involved Pitt's counsel, which is why she filed her request in August.
The documents argue that there is no way Oudenkirk could be seen as being unbiased.
The documents also hit back at the claim in Pitt's filing that removing Ouderkirk would "create confusion and invite gamesmanship" in his divorce proceedings with her.”
Last Friday, Jolie's attorney told ET in a statement about Pitt's most recent filing.
“It is unfortunate that Mr. Pitt's team has sought to intervene ahead of Judge Ouderkirk's response. One can only conclude that this is an attempt to obstruct or influence Judge Ouderkirk's answer. Any delay in these proceedings is due to their zealous attempt to create an unrecognized special exception for their client's benefit.
“Angelina isn’t trying to delay the process, as the court papers state, she is trying to resolve an issue with the judge."
However, a source close to Pitt told ET: “It is unfortunate that Ms Jolie’s team is desperately trying to change a referee of their own choosing late in the fourth quarter to delay the end of an endless game because they are concerned that they might be losing."
The new filings come after it appeared that the exes were in a place where they were ready to co-parent.
In June, Pitt was snapped leaving Jolie's Los Angeles mansion on his motorcycle, marking the first time he's been spotted at her home since their 2016 breakup.
A source told ET: “Brad and Angelina have come a very long way and they're finally in a place where they both want to work together to raise their kids. They have no plans to reconcile and any communication between them is regarding their children's needs and future.”
In an updated news from ET, Angelina Jolie’s request to remove Judge John W. Ouderkirk in her divorce case against Brad Pitt was denied. The court finds that Ouderkirk is not disqualified from serving as a temporary judge in the case and the actress' request has been denied.
The court docs state that Jolie failed to meet her burden of proof to show legal grounds exist for the disqualification of Judge Ouderkirk.
Angelina and Brad got married on August 23, 2014, at their estate Château Miraval in Correns, France. They fell in love in 2005 after filming Mr. & Mrs. Smith. They separated in September 2016.
The affair caused the divorce between Brad and then wife, Jennifer Aniston in 2005. The two got married in 2000.
Angelina and Brad are co-parents to their biological and adoptive children: Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt (19); Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt (16); Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt (15); Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt (14) and twins Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt and Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt (both 12).
On April 12, 2019, the court restored Jolie and Pitt to single status.
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