Angelina Jolie, 45, and Brad Pitt, 56, are still battling over the custody of their kids. But a new report in US Weekly says that the estranged couple will appear before a judge next month to hash out a temporary plan for the holidays — and Brad is hoping to have his kids overnight for Christmas.
Although their custody trial, which was scheduled to start Oct. 6, has been delayed Los Angeles family lawyer Kelly Chang Rickert of Purpose Driven Lawyers tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY: “They can still have a hearing in the meantime. The hearing would make orders that may be modified later. The trial will yield the final say.”
Divorce lawyer Raoul Felder, a partner at Stutman Stutman Lichtenstein & Felder agrees, and tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY: “This is a very busy time for a divorce lawyers, it’s not unusual for couples to be having a hearing in front of a judge to figure out holidays.”
And when it comes to Brad getting an overnight with the kids for the holidays both lawyers say it would be unusual if he wasn’t granted that request. Raoul Felder says, “It’s very appropriate and usual for the father to have overnight visits and to share the holiday time equally. If Angelina really is trying to stop him from having the children one night at Christmas a judge is going to find that stubborn and unrealistic.
“If I were her lawyer I would not advise her to fight him on having an overnight visit with the kids for the holidays. He should have even more than one overnight. Why should he not have half the Christmas holidays? If he wants to push it he can have more than one overnight during the Christmas holidays.”
Although very few details have been made public in the contentious case, recent paperwork filed recent documents, obtained by HollywoodLife, include a long list of witnesses on either side. Notably absent from both their lists are the names of their six kids: Maddox, 19, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 14, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 12. As HollywodLife previously reported the kids won’t have to take the stand.
But, one of the many names on Brad’s extensive witness list (filed on September 21) is Jillian Armenante, an actress that co-starred with Angelina in two of her most memorable films. In 1999, Jillian was in Girl, Interrupted alongside Angelina. And they joined forces again in the 2007 film A Mighty Heart. It’s unclear why Brad is calling Jillian to testify. Brad’s list also includes security consultants, psychologists and a therapist.
The trial was set to take place in Los Angeles for two weeks earlier this month, but it’s now been delayed, and sources tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY that the hold up is all because of Angelina’s request to have the judge replaced. And while Brad has claimed his ex’s “Hail Mary filing,” will negatively effect their kids, her petition is within her legal rights, says Raoul Felder. “In California they have a rule that you are allowed a certain number of times, very few times, to request a different judge. So that’s what it may be. Her lawyers, who I gather are very experienced, may have sized something up in this judge that they didn’t like. Today, with computers you can find out how judges have ruled in similar cases. And you may find out, as lawyers say, oh he’s a husband’s judge…they are biased towards the fathers. And if you look a little deeper maybe it’s because they had a miserable marriage and a bad divorce themselves. So you have to know so many things, so many balls are in the air, this is not a game for amateurs.”