As I understand it, the legal agreement is like a pledge between them and a promise to their children that they will do whatever is best for them to make sure they heal properly.
They have been eager to get back together so in prolonging the status quo, they placed their children's best interests ahead of their own wishes. The status quo has been very difficult for both of them -- but especially difficult for Brad as can clearly be seen in his physical appearance.
The last articles on both People and Us from Brad's sources emphasized just how unhappy Brad has been with the supervised visits. They want us to know that it is a sign of the depth of his commitment to his family that he agreed to continue to abide by them. But of course, he also knows that the child experts in charge of the process now are experts they hired who are working with them and are intent on helping to bring the family together instead of keeping them apart. These experts will also try to make things as easy as possible for Brad.
Among other things, I believe they committed to:
- give the children all the time and support they need to heal at their own pace
- remove any outside pressure to rush the healing by keeping the petition in place,
- follow the advice of the private child psychiatrists or psychologists they recruited on how to proceed
- keep the agreement in place until the child experts issue a formal opinion that the children are ready to live with their father.
This time around, the consequences of not following the agreement would just be a guilty conscience that they are not doing what's best for the children.
This is a highly sensitive time for them because they are working on the children's feelings and emotions towards their father. Brad is worried because his relationship with them is not where it was or where he would like it to be. Angelina's role here is to assist both sides guided by the advice of the experts.
You can see this in their most recent photos, Angelina looks rested but Brad still looks worried.
Brad apparently knows that even after their children are allowed to live with him, he needs to work on strengthening his relationship with his family.
I am not a child psychologist but given that it is the children's feelings everyone is looking out for, I would expect that they (the children) have a say on how things proceed. While the experts may have drawn out a schedule for them, if they wanted their father to join them for Thanksgiving, for example, so long as they all can agree, freely and without pressure, it would happen.
ET had a report this afternoon from an event last night. It quoted Laura Wasser as saying ""I'm going to imagine that she's going do what most of us are doing, which is spending it (Thanksgiving) with her family,"
From the very start, their use of "family" has been a big clue. Wasser, like Robert Offer and Geyer Kosinski, could have used "children" instead of "family" -- but they all used "family." Brad is part of the family.
In line with my thoughts above, I don't think the family celebrating together goes against the voluntary commitment to supervised visits if all sides wish it. It would just part of the process to gradually ease him back into the children's lives.
He's had time for 2 or 3 visits with the children since the case was closed. That may not yet be enough, but with all the help and guidance they are now receiving, they've probably already made good progress. The children themselves may be eager for a return to the family life they knew.
"All sides are committed to healing the family."
The child experts are on hand and the legal agreement is in place to make sure that eagerness does not lead to a rushed process.
ET has had good access the last few weeks.