LOS ANGELES: According to reports from Friday, Brad Pitt has missed the deadline to respond to Angelina Jolie’s divorce petition, seeking to avoid sparking an acrimonious legal battle that could harm their children. The 52-year-old actor will not file an official reply, despite being two days over Wednesday’s cut-off date, until the estranged couple’s lawyers have reached a custody agreement.
Pitt is seeking joint legal and physical custody but hoping to avoid a court battle for the six children. The 41-year-old Jolie filed court documents on September 19, citing irreconcilable differences and seeking sole permanent custody.
Earlier this week, Pitt met 15-year-old Maddox, for the first time since an alleged incident involving the pair in France, on September 14. The FBI has said it is gathering information before deciding whether to launch a federal probe into the allegations. It has not offered any details on what is said to have happened but several US media outlets reported that Pitt had been involved in an angry outburst with at least one of his children.
Pitt reportedly visited his other five children on October 8 but Maddox refused to see his father. “With the resources of these parties, it should be possible for Brad to continue to have meaningful access to the younger children, even if it means that such access will have to be supervised,” Emily Pollock, a partner at New York law firm Kasowitz said. “Further time with Maddox would depend on the severity of the allegations and Maddox’s interest in such visits.”
Pitt’s reunion with his children were both supervised by a therapist as part of the couple’s temporary custody agreement, mediated by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, which expired on Thursday. Under the agreement, Jolie had physical custody of the children three of whom, including Maddox, are adopted.
The A-listers wed in France two years ago but had been a couple since 2004.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2016.