Brad Pitt had a happy Father’s Day, spending time with his six kids in London amid a bitter custody battle with Angelina Jolie.
How’d things turn so ugly?
Well, Angelina wasn’t letting her ex have enough time with the kids, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge determined last week.
Pax, 14, Zahara, 13, Shiloh, 12, and twins Vivienne and Knox, nine, need to be spending more time with dad, and if Angelina doesn’t allow it, or travels with them extensively without letting Brad visit, she faces losing custody. Maddox, 16, can make his own choices about time with dad, based on his age.
“The children not having a relationship with their father is harmful to them,” say the court docs.
According to celebrity divorce lawyer Christopher C. Melcher, a top California divorce attorney and founding partner of Los Angeles-based top family law firm Walzer Melcher, Angelina received a strongly worded order from the court and now needs to abide by the ruling, and allow Brad to share custody.
“She had primary custody because at the beginning of the case she expressed concerns about Brad. Now the court sees that’s unfounded or no longer a problem and says Brad should have more time or access to the children because the relationship between him and the kids is not as strong or good as it should be.”
Melcher says that in order to grant Brad more access, a judge investigated and determined Angelina was responsible for the problems Brad and the children have.
“If the situation doesn’t improve the court can give him custody,” he says. “It’s the court’s final warning to stop the alienating behavior.”
So the two reached a temporary custody agreement for the summer; Brad will have physical custody of all the kids but Maddox for four hours a day from June 8 to 17 in London and must spend time with each child at least twice during the 10-day period with a psychologist present. Angelina will not be present during Brad’s time.
She has also tried to spin the news in her favor.
“She has really tried to get ahead of the story and change the narrative and make it seem like a custody plan for the summer was in place for some time. But it took the court to tell her Brad must see the kids.”