Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s Child Custody Agreement: What Does It Mean?

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s child custody agreement was announced late yesterday, November 7, 2016. As reported earlier by the Inquisitr, Angelina Jolie and her lawyers have released a statement saying that she will continue to keep physical custody of the six children involved in her and Brad Pitt’s divorce.

The agreement allows for therapeutic visits with Brad Pitt. Although the statement did not clarify what therapeutic visits involved, one can surmise that they are a form of supervised visitation, especially given the investigation surrounding an alleged altercation between Pitt and Maddox, his 15-year-old son.

Brad Pitt, Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, Maddox Jolie-Pitt amidst a custody war with Angelina Jolie
[Image by Jordan Strauss/AP Images]

What is odd is the timing of the press release. The statement released on Monday stated the agreement was reached more than a week ago, but that calls into question why Pitt would file his own custody motion on Friday, November 4, 2016. The new custody agreement is likely because the initial temporary custody agreement filed expired on October 20th, 2016.

That means the L.A. County DCFS would have made new recommendations that would figure into this new agreement. The attachment of the word, “therapeutic,” to the continuing visits also indicates that the therapist likely wants to be present for future contact.

The counter affidavit by Pitt and his attorneys was likely an indication that they don’t agree with the new temporary custody agreement at all. Considering that the divorce is regulated by California State family law, it is highly unlikely that Angelina Jolie would be able to get complete sole custody of all six children.

In California, there are two types of custody whenever a dependent is involved, and they are physical and legal. Physical custody determines who the dependent will reside with, and legal custody determines who has the power to make decisions on behalf of them. It’s likely that Jolie is pursuing sole physical custody with joint legal custody as it’s unlikely that she would seek to shut Pitt out of the children’s lives entirely.

If Angelina Jolie has sole physical custody, she has the right to decide where the children will live and could even move them out of state or out of the country unless blocked by a court order. Because Pitt would be considered the noncustodial parent, his visits would be limited to what the courts approved.

Pitt’s counter-motion could be seen as a bid to prevent Angelina from moving somewhere that it would be difficult for him to see his children on a regular basis. It may also be a bargaining chip in what is sure to be a high-stakes fight over money and property, although that doesn’t seem consistent with Brad’s demeanor.

rad Pitt And Angelina Jolie Arrive In Japan with children in happier times before custody battle
[Image by Junko Kimura/Getty]

The counter-motion also serves as notification to Angelina Jolie and her lawyers that Brad has no intention of just rolling over when it comes to the divorce. He is apparently willing to fight for his family as much as he can so he could continue to be a father to son Maddox, 15; son Pax, 12; daughter Zahara, 11; daughter Shiloh, 10; and twins Knox and Vivienne, 8.

Where the custody will fall depends primarily on two things. First, the courts are going to look at what is best for the six children. Part of that will hang on whether or not Angelina Jolie can prove her initial concerns that Brad has substance abuse and anger issues. California Family Code 3041.5 dictates that if Pitt does have alcohol and marijuana dependency issues, then granting him joint custody would not be in the best interests of the children.

Secondly, in Maddox’s case, California Family Code 3042 states that the courts will give consideration to his wishes when it comes to custody. His testimony will also likely influence how the court will decide the rest of the children’s custody. It’s also possible, if unlikely, that the courts could issue separate custody orders for the children.

[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty]