It appears that Brad Pitt might have a bit of a custody fight on his hands amid new allegations of child abuse.
Pitt Faces Allegations of Abuse
Last week it appears Angelina Jolie’s camp launched a story about Brad Pitt allegedly getting into a physical altercation with oldest son, Maddox, during a flight from France to the U.S. Website TMZ announced last week that Pitt had allegedly got “verbally abusive” and “physical” with Maddox during an incident last week.
While Pitt has not addressed the allegations, a source has confirmed that Pitt was inebriated at the time of the incident and that he Angelina Jolie were involved in an argument. Additionally, there was a “parent-child argument which was not handled in the right way and escalated more than it should have.”
According to another source, “Brad made contact with Maddox in the shoulder area, and there was absolutely no physical injury to him.” The source went on to explain, “He is emphatic that it did not reach the level of physical abuse, that no one was physically harmed. He put his hands on him, yes, because the confrontation was spiraling out of control.”
Pitt has six kids with Jolie. Maddox is their eldest and is the only child Jolie had adopted on her own before the couple were together.
Jolie cited irreconcilable differences in her divorce filing a few weeks ago. The couple has been together for 12 years, but only married for two. Jolie is seeking sole physical custody of all six kids and has requested that Pitt be given legal custody and visitation rights.
It is unclear how these allegations will affect the decisions regarding child custody. It appears the FBI is evaluating if an investigation into the allegations needs to happen. If an investigation does follow, its findings will most likely play a huge role in the determination of child custody rights awarded to Pitt.
Domestic Violence Allegations
Domestic Violence can be defined as a “violent confrontation that occurs between family members or between people who live together or are in a dating relationship. Domestic violence follows a broad spectrum of participants but always involves abuse in one form or another, whether it be physical, psychological or emotional. Whether you are referring to a domestic violence dispute between husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, father and son, father and daughter, mother and son, mother and daughter or some other familial combination, domestic violence carries with it longstanding emotional and psychological scars that extend far beyond the physical.
In a large majority of domestic violence cases the woman is most often the victim, however not in all. Weapons are sometimes employed, property is damaged and alcohol and drug use are often at the source. In the state of California, domestic violence is not taken lightly and you should seek legal assistance if you or someone you love has been the victim of a domestic violence situation. A skilled Pasadena domestic violence attorney at the Southern California Divorce Law LA are here to educate and support you through this process.
Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Conviction
In terms of Family Law, a misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence carries mandatory jail time and can result in the unfortunate loss of custody of your children or visitation privileges. Other negative impacts may be a loss of employment, incarceration, excessive fines and legal fees and possible deportation if not a US citizen.
Regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, in the state of California, a domestic violence misdemeanor conviction suggests that your ability to safely care for your children as their primary custodian is questionable. You will be presumed unfit for their ongoing care and responsibility. Losing your children over a domestic violence dispute is a tragic repercussion that impacts all parties involved, most notably your child.
If you have been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, according to federal law you cannot legally carry a firearm and if you are a law enforcement officer or military personnel, a domestic violence conviction often signals the end of your career.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence
Regardless of whether a dispute occurs between spouses, domestic partners, boyfriend and girlfriend, parents and children, same sex couples, blood relatives (siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.) or housemates – all domestic violence disputes between the above combination of individuals carries the domestic violence charge. Domestic violence misdemeanors remain permanently on your record and can be used against you in future crimes for 7 years following initial conviction. Offenses compound, and aligning yourself with a skilled Pasadena Domestic Violence Attorney is essential to fully understand your rights and to seek a reduced sentence and favorable outcome.
Domestic Violence and Child Custody
If you believe your co-parent is unfit to take on parenting responsibilities, you will most likely want to work with a family law attorney that will be able to handle a request for sole child custody. Your lawyer will help you prepare a petition to be granted sole cusotdy and once you have filed your petition to be granted sole child custody you will receive a date for either a mediation session or a court hearing. You’ll want to be prepared going into this meeting. Here are some steps to prepare.
Work with Your Family Law Attorney
Your family law attorney will help you prepare for the mediation or court hearing. If you have been working with a family law attorney up to this point, chances are you have already built your case for why the other parent is unfit to raise the child or children you share. If you have not been working with a family law attorney, you will need to gather evidence of this on your own. We’ll discuss this more in depth further below.
Serve the Other Parent
After the petition has been filed, you’ll need to let the other parent know that you have done so and that you are requesting that a change be made to the current custody agreement. You can either work with your family law attorney to have the notification served, or work with a service company or the courthouse to have this done. Once the notification is served, the person who served the papers will need to provide you with proof that the other parent has been made aware. This is called “Proof of Service.” You’ll need to provide this to the court.
Family law courts prefer to award joint custody to both parents. Because of this, you will need to prove that the other parent is unfit and unable to handle custody of your child. This may be proven a number of ways. Here are a few examples:
- A history of abuse or neglect. Are there any police reports that have been filed against the other parent? Are there other pieces of evidence? Are there witnesses that can corroborate your story?
- Lifestyle. Does the other parent have a job? Is it a steady job that can ensure the other parent is able to financially take care of the child? Where does the other parent live? Is it a safe environment?
- Emotional and physical health. Is the other parent physically and mentally able to care for the child?
Once you have prepared all your evidence, either on your own or with the help of a family law attorney, you will be ready for the mediation or court hearing. If during the mediation session you are unable to come to an agreement, then the case will need to go before a judge. Hopefully, either through mediation or the court hearing, you will then be granted with sole child custody.
It should be noted that if a parent strongly disagrees with how the court has decided on the custody case, there is always an option to appeal.
Appealing Child Custody Decisions
Child custody cases are difficult due to the nature of the subject. A family law court will always rule in the best interest of the child. It’s important to note that an appeals court will not review a case just because one party disagrees with what the judge decided. If you feel your child custody agreement was arrived at because the court made a substantive error (either procedural or legal) you are able to appeal the court’s decision. Here’s how to appeal a child custody ruling.
Work with a Family Law Attorney
Working with a family law attorney will help you prove your case. In the case of appealing an already decided agreement, the family law attorney will need to prove that the previous decision was arrived at inaccurately due to a legal error or a procedural error.
Rules of Your Jurisdiction
Every state has different rules that given child custody cases and appeals. A family law attorney will be familiar with the rules of your specific jurisdiction and will be able to help guide you through the process. If you are not working with a family law attorney, you will need to research the rules on your own. These jurisdiction rules govern what your timeline is for filing an appeal to your child custody case, as well as exact guidelines for what should be contained in the petition to appeal. You can find these rules online or at your local courthouse.
Prepare an Appellate Petition
Next, you will need to prepare an appellate petition. This petition outlines why you are appealing the current child custody decision, as well as lists the errors that the lower court made when deciding on your child custody decision. If you are not working with a family law attorney, you might want to have the petition you fill out reviewed by one, just to ensure it has been done correctly. Next, you will file this petition with the court, as well as have a notification of the filing served to your opposing party.
Review of Appellate Petition
The court will then review the appellate petition and decide whether or not to hear your child custody appeal. If the court decides to hear your case, you will need to prepare a brief that explains your reasons for appealing the initial child custody agreement. This brief should include the lower court’s rules, case law, and all the facts that were presented in the initial custody hearing. A judge will review this and offer a final decision.
When parents live in different locations, either different states, countries, or even towns, the issue of child custody can become very difficult. It’s not uncommon for parents to request move away court orders.
Working with A Family Law Attorney
When it comes to child custody decisions, you’ll want to work with a skilled family law attorney. There are a number of things that need to be considered, namely the best interests of the child, but also what type of custody you are hoping to acheive. Working with a skilled attorney can help ensure you get a fair case. For advice on divorce, child custody determinations, setting up a co-parenting agreement, dividing marital property, and spousal support you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.
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