Random Fuzzies 2
Some readers have been asking why Brad filed a response asking for joint custody when the DCFS investigation is still open, and they haven't yet ruled that the kids are safe with him. Here is one possible explanation via People
Divorce attorney Christopher Melcher, who does not represent Pitt or Jolie, says Pitt’s filing a response on November 4 was really an expression of intent, and not a formal request for custody order, it does mean he’s not prepared to let Jolie have sole custody.
“[Angelina] checked a box for sole custody, he checked a box for joint custody,” Melcher says. “It’s basically just giving notice to the other party of what their intent is.”
… or maybe she just insisted that he file a response [to the divorce],” he says.
I have relied heavily on what they have said through their reps and on their actions in trying decipher their intentions. And the operative word is decipher.
They are both public figures with work that draws on public support. Angelina, as a humanitarian and public policy advocate, would not want her statements to be seen as being misleading. I have often said they are mindful of public perceptions and expectations.
Some of her statements had elements that caught my attention -- her consistent use of "family" in making formal statements instead of just "children," and some odd phrasing like "she is headed to divorce court."
When she filed, she wanted it out there that Brad was still the "love of her life" and that "she would never leave him if it was just a substance abuse problem" .. that it was "all about protecting the children."
But if she was filing for divorce to "protect the children" and she only wanted sole custody to be temporary and "wants them to have a relationship with him once their health and safety is assured” then she was really only talking about temporary protection. Which implied that the need for divorce would also only be temporary. That further begged the question, why resort to something potentially permanent -- like divorce -- in order to obtain something temporary?
Her divorce petition itself -- merely listing "miscellaneous jewelry," not mentioning their other assets or the prenup and not asking that her name be changed back provided further clues. So I arrived at the conclusion that she didn't intend to see the petition through and was only using the filing as a tool until the children were safe.
At first I thought her purpose was to stage an intervention to force Brad to address his problems. Until I realized that as a result of the DCFS investigation, if they perceived that the children were in danger, they could take them and place them in foster homes -- unless she could show that she could protect them by keeping them safe away from him.
They hurriedly reported on Brad and Maddox's "turning point" visit because that could lead the DCFS to declaring that the children were now safe with him and close the investigation. They added that Angelina "wants their family to function with a fully involved father and mother" to give you hints on where she wants things to go. When Oct 20 passed and there was still no word, they explained why Brad had not replied and that Angelina would not seek a default judgement -- passing up on the easiest and fastest route to a divorce. Hint. They added that "the whole divorce case could settle privately...and on that goal Angelina and Brad agree" to give you more hints on what could come.
Again, they are mindful of perceptions and expectations.
But then weeks passed and the investigation, which had expanded to other incidents involving the whole family, remained open. The children were still not "safe" in the eyes of the DCFS.
In Brad's response, just as with Angelina's petition, he too did not mention child support or their prenup -- but then he asked the court for "more time to figure out a property agreement." Even though their unmentioned "iron clad" prenup already is a property agreement that has everything figured out and would have made "divvying all that up simple." Because just as the purpose of her petition is to keep the DCFS from taking the children, the purpose of his response is so they can buy time to wait out the DCFS while the investigation remains open. The DCFS investigation could be "ideally nearing a conclusion" or "is now going to continue for at least several more weeks."
And that is as best as I can decipher everything that has transpired in a way that makes sense to me.
What is clear is the DCFS is central to the divorce and central to all of their actions since the plane incident.
Everything revolves around the DCFS and they seem to react to what the DCFS does or failed to do.