Do you agree with Brad Pitt winning joint custody of his children with Angelina Jolie?

I normally don’t comment on popular culture matters dealing with divorce, but for this question I will make an exception. 

I have no idea what kind of parents Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are. I don’t know what findings the court made regarding the parental fitness of each of them. 

I know that Angelina Jolie accused Brad Pitt of domestic violence and child abuse, but frankly (and I know this is not politically correct to say) so many wives and mothers have made false “he’s abusive” claims in divorce for so many years that they are rightly met with a healthy dose of skepticism nowadays (in my experience and the experience of other divorce attorneys, most (most, not all) claims of domestic violence and child abuse made in divorce cases are false*). And it doesn’t appear that either Jolie or Pitt have an independently verifiable history of any kind of serious criminal activity. 

If, as appears to be the case, the judge in the Angelina Jolie vs. Brad Pitt divorce action conducted a thorough investigation (or as thorough an investigation as one is actually likely to get in a divorce case) and determined that Jolie’s allegations — whatever they are — against Pitt did not rise to the level of warranting that Pitt’s parental rights and authority be any less than that of the children’s mother, and it’s only fair both to Pitt as a parent and to the couple’s children that joint custody be awarded. 


*You may ask that if most of the domestic violence and child abuse claims made in divorce are false, then why are so many falsely accused parents (who 99% of the time are the fathers) against whom no proof of abuse is found denied a joint child custody award? 

After being in practice and observing the workings of the legal system for 24 years (as of when I write this), the best explanation I have is this: when some judges err on the side of caution and take a “better safe than sorry” approach to domestic violence and child abuse claims, these kinds of judges stay out of the public eye and protect their jobs at the expense of the innocent but falsely accused parent. “Who would or credibly could blame me for awarding primary or sole custody to the mother?,” so the thinking goes. And it works. When is the last time you raised an eyebrow upon hearing that the mother was awarded custody of the kids? 

And that’s exactly what certain lazy, controversy-avoiding judges count on when making perfunctory child custody awards to mothers. These kinds of judges put their self-interest before the public’s interest in seeing justice and equity dispensed impartially. They abuse the public trust by—in the name of “protecting” children—contriving to make a virtue of treating both 1) a father’s parental rights and 2) the best interest of the child and the child’s rights to being reared as much as possible by his/her father as less than and subordinate to the interests of the mother. 


Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277  

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