Angelina Jolie criticised Judge John Ouderkirk's tentative ruling to grant Brad Pitt joint custody of their children after he refused to let the kids testify in the custody trial.
Court documents filed Monday with California's Second District Court of Appeal stated that the judge "denied Ms. Jolie a fair trial, improperly excluding her evidence relevant to the children's health, safety, and welfare, evidence critical to making her case."
The filing also stated that he "failed to adequately consider" a section of California's court code that said it is detrimental to the welfare of the child if custody is granted to the person with a background of domestic violence. Jolie did not provide details regarding this matter in her filing, but her lawyers have previously submitted relevant information in a separate document in March. It is also worthy to mention that the actress has accused Pitt of domestic violence.
According to the document, Ouderkirk "refused to hear the minor teenagers' input as to their experiences, needs, or wishes as to their custody fate." It goes against a California code that says children 14-years old or older should be allowed to testify if they want to.
Three of Jolie and Pitt's children, Pax, 17, Zahara, 16, and Shiloh, 14, have previously agreed to testify in court. They also have twins Vivienne and Knox, 12, and the eldest, Maddox, 19, who is not subject to the custody decision.
Peter Harvey, Jolie's lawyer who has knowledge about the case, told the Associated Press that she supports joint custody. Even though she initially requested primary custody in 2016. But "there were other issues of concern, but the court proceedings are closed and sealed." Jolie said she will make an appeal if the judge makes the tentative ruling final.
Pitt's attorneys have since responded to Jolie's filing and said that the judge "conducted an extensive proceeding over the past six months in a thorough, fair manner and reached a tentative ruling and order after hearing from experts and percipient witnesses." They said Ouderkirk found her testimony "lacked credibility in many important areas" and advised that her objections and further delays in reaching an agreement will only further deny the children their "permanence and stability."