NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

November 5, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Hi everyone.  It’s your intrepid correspondent again, this time breathlessly bringing you the latest on the most important event of the past two years - the Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie divorce and custody case (New Idea, 11/1/18).  Yes, wars are being fought, hurricanes are laying waste to entire communities and the Four Horsemen prowl the countryside, but a couple of celebrities are divorcing, so all must drop what they’re doing and take heed.

It seems that Brad has, at least for now, taken the lead in the custody sweepstakes.  The judge appointed a custody evaluator, one Dr. Stan Katz, who has, in due course, interviewed all and sundry – the parents, the kids, relatives and others.  And it turns out the kids prefer his Bradness to living with Angie.
In news that has devastated Angelina Jolie, the Jolie-Pitt children have admitted their true feelings about their mum and dad in secret court tapes.
“The most shocking thing that’s come out of the kids’ interviews with the court appointed child custody evaluator is that they all want to live with Brad,” an insider tells New Idea.
“It seems that all the kids spoke of being tired of how Angelina bad-mouths their dad and say it’s a lot more stressful living with her,” says the source, adding, “The tapes of the conversations are shocking, to say the least, and have really shifted the whole child-custody situation.”
Now, if you follow the doings of the Pitt-Jolie matter closely (and you DO follow it closely, don’t you?), you’ll be aware that barely a day goes by without one or the other of the two being “devastated” by one thing or another, at least according to the gossip press for which the slightest turn of events must be described as a cataclysm.  So whether Angie is in fact drowning in a sea of despond or not is likely an open question.

Still, the fact that the kids seem to prefer Dad to Mom will likely weigh fairly heavily on the judge’s scales.  So, I suspect, will this:
The judge also warned Angelina to stop limiting the children’s access to Brad and warned that she risked losing custody unless she made moves\ to improve the kids’ relationship with their dad.
And this:
Last week it was also claimed Angelina is planning a permanent move to France in a bid to thwart Brad’s efforts to get joint custody.
Nothing about this case has ever indicated that Pitt isn’t a perfectly fit and loving father, so the above two tactics by Jolie don’t appear likely to bear the type of fruit she’d like.  For one thing, California is a state that requires a separating spouse to promote the other spouse to the kids.  That is, parental alienation, denigration, etc. are frowned upon, as they should be.

So Pitt seems to have been playing the right game all along.
“Even though he’s just as angry over the split as she is, Brad’s made it his mission to never speak poorly of Angelina in front of the kids and has worked hard to make home a calm and happy place for his family,” adds the insider.
“This really came out in the interviews and was a big factor with the evaluator.”
In other words, Pitt’s done what the law requires of parents.  That of course raises the question of what advice Jolie’s been getting from her lawyers.  Did they whip out a copy of the statute and point to the place where it requires her to do the exact opposite of what she’s been doing?  Did they let her know that fleeing to France with the kids wouldn’t be calculated to please the judge?  You’d think they’d have done those two obvious things, but you never know.

Meanwhile, it seems Jolie may be planning to adopt yet another child.  She and Pitt have six, so it appears that her backup plan in case Pitt gets primary custody is to simply obtain another child without a father who’ll be “all hers.”

I’ve written before about Jolie.  Her Wikipedia page strongly suggests that it was her adopted children who essentially saved her from herself.  For much of her adolescent and early adult life, she was seriously self-destructive, to the extent of trying to hire someone to kill her.  Enter the children and she was soon a remarkably successful and famous actress.  That says to me that, in the dark places of her own psyche at least, Jolie owes her stability and maybe her very life to her kids.  The loss of them therefore, looks to portend danger for her.  I hope I’m wrong.

Whatever happens, there’s no reason I can see why the pair shouldn’t share custody.  Yes, Jolie has misbehaved and she seems to have some emotional issues that impair her parenting and certainly her relationship with Pitt.  But that doesn’t look from here to be enough to remove her from the children’s lives.

We’ll see soon enough and your intrepid correspondent will be Johnny on the spot to keep you abreast of the latest news.  I know you’re relieved to hear it.

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