A California appeals court has disqualified the private judge used in the estranged couple's nasty divorce case, finding he failed to disclose his ties to Pitt's attorneys.
The 2nd District Court of Appeal agreed with Jolie that Judge John W. Ouderkirk did not reveal his business relationships with her ex's legal team, and he's now been kicked off the case.
This is the same judge who granted Pitt joint custody of their five minor children -- Maddox doesn't count because he's 19 years old.
Jolie -- who had been fighting the joint custody decision -- might now get her wish.
Now that Ouderkirk is off the case, his decision for joint custody could get thrown out -- meaning, they might be starting over in their battle over the kids.
“Judge Ouderkirk’s ethical breach, considered together with the information disclosed concerning his recent professional relationships with Pitt’s counsel, might cause an objective person, aware of all the facts, reasonably to entertain a doubt as to the judge’s ability to be impartial. Disqualification is required,” the court ruled on Friday.
While the judge already ruled the two divorced, they have still been fighting tooth and nail over custody.
A spokesperson for Pitt's legal team tells Radar, they are ready to fight.
“The appeals court ruling was based on a technical procedural issue. The facts haven’t changed. There is an extraordinary amount of factual evidence which led the judge—and the many experts who testified—to reach their clear conclusion about what is in the children’s best interests. We will continue to do what’s necessary legally based on the detailed findings of what’s best for the children.”
Celebrities often hire private judges in an attempt to keep their divorce proceedings under wraps, which doesn't always work out as planned.
Jolie is currently overseas with several of their children.
The Academy Award winner was spotted with Pax, 17, Zahara, 16, and Shiloh, 15, in the City of Love on Thursday.
Jolie put on a brave face with their kids in Paris, despite speculation on whether her oldest son Maddox's adoption was legit.
Pitt and Jolie were together for 12 years but only married for two.
The actress pulled the plug on their life together when she filed for divorce in 2016 following an alleged blowup in front of the children.
While they were declared divorced in 2019, Jolie and Pitt continue to battle over custody and finances, including their winery in France.