Is Angelina Jolie risking losing custody of her six children? According to court documents, she might be if she doesn’t allow Brad Pitt to visit with the six children the couple shares.
Could Angelina Lose Custody of Her Children?
According to recently released court documents, the Tomb Raider star might be in danger of losing custody of her children if they are not allowed to spend more time with her ex-husband, Brad Pitt. A judge insisted that the six children the couple shares maintain a “healthy relationship” with their father. Of course, to maintain that relationship, the children must spend time with Pitt. Any failure to allow that would subsequently mean less time with Jolie.
“If the minor children remain closed down to their father and depending on the circumstances surrounding this condition, it may result in a reduction of the time they spend with [Jolie]” the documents state.
To the outside eye, the divorce has always seemed cantankerous. The Jolie-Pitt divorce was initiated by Jolie in 2016. She cited irreconcilable differences in the court documents. At the time Pitt released a statement saying that he was “saddened” by the filing. From the outset of the announcement, it appeared that Jolie would do everything in her power to maintain custody of her children.
Custody disagreements between divorced or separated parents in Los Angeles can quickly escalate to bitter courtroom battles, and these types of cases require the expertise of a Los Angeles child custody lawyer.
Divorce and Custody Disputes in Los Angeles
When a married couple with children files for divorce in Los Angeles, they are faced with a number of important and difficult decisions, including the issue of child custody and visitation rights. The primary considerations that come into play in Los Angeles custody proceedings are parental consistency and stability, both of which are considered positive forces in a child’s life. No longer does custody automatically go to the mother in California child custody disputes; the mother and father are considered equals in the eyes of the court and are therefore equally entitled to custody under the law, so long as the presence of either parent in the child’s life is not detrimental to his or her well-being. In the state of California, if parents are unable to agree on a child custody and visitation arrangement that suits them both, they will go to court, where a judge will establish a parenting plan that takes into consideration the best interests of the children. Unfortunately, in contested divorces, the issue of child custody is often a contentious one that can turn ugly quickly, such as what happened in the Jolie-Pitt divorce.
Child Abuse Claims for Pitt
Just shortly after the Jolie-Pitt divorce announcement was made, reports of child abuse claims against Pitt emerged. Allegedly, the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services were investigating an incident that took place on a private plane in September of 2016. Pitt, who was allegedly intoxicated at the time, was reportedly “verbally abusive” to his son Maddox Jolie-Pitt. The FBI were also called in to investigate the allegations. Pitt was later cleared of all charges by both the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services and the FBI
As part of the divorce filing, Jolie asked for full physical custody of all six children, requesting Pitt be granted visitation. The court documents also showed the two would share legal custody of the six children.
Various Types of Custody
In California, there are four types of child custody arrangements available. A judge will look at the specifics of each case and choose which form of custody he or she recommends. The different types of custody determine who lives with the child or children or makes major decisions regarding the child or children. It should be noted that there is a large difference between child custody and child visitation. Here are the various forms of custody available in California:
Sole Legal Custody
Sole legal custody is when the court grants one parent full authority to make decisions for the child. These decisions are those which impact a child’s education, religion, health, living and travel arrangements, everyday life.
This form of custody is often chosen when a divorce is particularly difficult and there is a large chance of serious arguments between the two parents. In addition, if one parent is totally absent, it’s often determined that the remaining parent will make major decisions for the child.
Joint Legal Custody
Joint legal custody allows both parents the right to make major decisions for the child or children. For this arrangement to work, parents should stay in touch and be able to communicate with each other well.
This is often the best solution for the child if the parents are able to manage it. Adequate communication between parents is always the most beneficial and this type of custody can help children feel happier.
Sole Physical Custody
Sole physical custody is when the child/children live with only one parent. This arrangement can allow children the chance to have a consistent and peaceful lifestyle. Sole physical custody does not mean that the other parent cannot see the child/children. Regular visits are scheduled to maintain a healthy relationship between the other parent and the child.
Joint Physical Custody
Joint physical custody is when the child stays with both parents on a regular basis. Usually, one of the parents becomes the primary custodial parent with whom the child spends more time. There are various living arrangements that will need to be worked out.
Various Living Arrangements with Joint Physical Custody
Parents will need to be able to figure out a way to manage joint physical custody. When organized correctly, this can provide a stable environment for children, in addition to allowing them equal time between divorced parents. There are various arrangements that can be made with joint physical custody. Typically, each parent has their own home that the child then shuffles back and forth between. For this to work, parents are asked to create a healthy co-parenting relationship, where they are able to communicate civilly in order to maintain a child’s sense of stability. Weekends, holidays, and special events must also be considered when it comes to joint physical custody. This can often be difficult, especially in bitter divorce cases.
A Note on Bird Nesting
“Bird-Nesting” is a type of co-parenting arrangement whereby both parents keep the marital family home and the children reside there 100% of the time. This has become an increasingly popular option as it allows for the child to remain in the family home.
The parents then rent a one-bedroom apartment or other additional space where they stay when they are not in the family home.
This arrangement can be the most beneficial to a child if the parents are able to organize it amongst themselves.
Put the Children First – Creating a Co-Parenting Relationship
In any divorce that involves children, it’s important that the child or children are put first. The primary focus of the California court system in child custody cases is the well-being of the children involved.
The key to a successful co-parenting relationship is to separate the personal relationship with your ex from the co-parenting relationship you are creating. While your romantic relationship might be over, you will need to work to create a co-parenting relationship. It may be helpful to start thinking of your co-parenting relationship with your ex as a completely new one—one that is entirely about the well-being of your children, and not about either of you.
In this new arrangement, doing what is best for your kids must be your most important priority. Remembering this is of utmost importance, as it will guide how you communicate and interact with your ex-spouse.
Here are some ways to help build your co-parenting relationship:
Get your feelings out. You’ll need to find a healthy outlet for your emotions and feelings. Obviously, this should never be in front of your child. Friends, therapists, and anyone that can be a good listener can help you when you need to vent. Exercise can also be a healthy outlet.
Stay kid-focused. Keep your child’s best interests at the forefront. If you feel angry or resentful, try to remember that your child must be first and foremost.
Don’t put your children in the middle.
Never use kids as messengers. You must figure out the best way to communicate with your ex-spouse – whether that be through text or email. This means that you will not use your children to convey messages to your co-parent. When you do, this puts them in the center of your conflict. Keep your child out of your relationship issues.
Keep your issues to yourself. Never say negative things about your ex to or in front of your children. You should also make an effort to never make them feel like they have to choose between you two. Your child has a right to a relationship with their other parent that is free of your influence.
Jolie-Pitt Arrangement – Moving Forward
Following the divorce filing, the family entered family therapy and Pitt entered private therapy. Pitt later told GQ magazine that he loved therapy and that he “went through two therapists to get to the right one.”
The family has, according to court documents, organized a summer schedule so that Pitt and Jolie will split the time and have equal visits with their children.
Free Child Custody Consultation in Los Angeles
Divorce and child custody issues are among the most contentious family law cases in Los Angeles courtrooms. The factor that has the most significant impact on child custody rulings in California is that both parents have frequent and continuing contact with the child, barring any situations where a parent’s presence is detrimental to the child’s well-being. However, divorced or divorcing parents are rarely able to agree on important legal issues, least of all how they will share custody of their children. Our family law attorneys at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles have extensive experience litigating child custody disputes in California and are committed to helping parents create an amicable custody agreement that is in the best interests of the children involved. Consult our family law lawyers at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles today for qualified legal help.
Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles
5455 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone: (213) 550-4600