Actress Angelina Jolie and her ex-husband, actor Brad Pitt, have been in the news recently due to their ongoing child custody battle. Jolie was accused of preventing Pitt from communicating with their six children by cell phone. Summer custody of the children was also an issue.
According to an article from NBC, a temporary custody agreement was ultimately reached. Nevertheless, the Court warned Jolie that she risked losing physical custody of the children if she did not allow the children to develop relationships with their father. The judge said:
“If the minor children remain closed down to their father and depending on the circumstances surrounding this condition, it may result in a reduction of the time they spend with [Jolie] and may result in the Court ordering primary physical custody to [Pitt].”
The Court also ruled that Jolie must provide the minor children’s phone numbers, and allow Pitt to text and call him without supervision.
Enforcement And Modification
This scenario is not limited to celebrity couples. Disputes like these occur frequently. The Jolie/Pitt case demonstrates the importance of respecting child custody orders and illustrates that failure to do so can have serious consequences. While it has not been determined that Jolie violated an order, it is clear that the Court places great importance in allowing the non-custodial parent to develop relationships with their children.
Of course, parents do have the right to seek court intervention in the event that a parent is not abiding by the terms of a child custody order. Likewise, custody orders may also be modified to ensure that they are aligned with the best interests of the children.
Parents who believe that a child custody order is being violated should contact an experienced lawyer immediately, as should any parent who believes that circumstances warrant a change in an existing child custody order.