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Ousted Judge a Blow to Brad Pitt Custody Cause

Actor loses time with kids previously awarded to him
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2021 7:15 AM CDT
Brad Pitt Suffers Setback in Custody Case
Angelina Jolie Pitt and Brad Pitt pose for a photo at the WSJ Magazine Innovator Awards 2015   (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Brad Pitt has suffered a blow in his child custody battle with Angelina Jolie. Per People, a judge who previously awarded the actor more time with the former couple's kids has been disqualified from presiding over the case. A three-judge panel sided with Jolie's attorneys, who argued Judge John Ouderkirk should be taken off the case because he failed to disclose business ties with Pitt's attorneys. Pitt was tentatively awarded joint custody of their five minor children in May. Per the AP, Pitt's attorney Theodore Boutrous called the move by Jolie's team a stalling tactic aimed at keeping the custody ruling from going into effect.

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The case has dragged on since Jolie filed for divorce in 2016. The two have since been declared divorced, but the custody portion of the case is being heard separately. Like many celebrities, the Jolie-Pitts hired a private judge to preside over the case in order to preserve privacy. That judge, Ouderkirk, also officiated the couple's wedding in 2014. Jolie's attorneys first began criticizing Ouderkirk in May for for refusing to let the couple's children to testify in the case. The recent decision means Jolie regains the prior custody arrangement of 17-year-old Pax, 16-year-old Zahara, 15-year-old Shiloh, and 13-year-old twins, Vivienne and Knox. (Read more Angelina Jolie stories.)

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