So now we have a response.
What to make of the decision to file 2 weeks after the deadline had lapsed? After explaining earlier that he wouldn't.
I still think they were counting on the DCFS closing their investigation before the 30-day period for a response ended.
But as there had been no response and she indicated she didn't intend to seek a default judgement, that left the question -- what will happen to the petition? Is she going to Request a Dismissal?
But the DCFS investigation is still open. She can't.
The DCFS investigation being open means the DCFS still believe the children are "in danger."
So what happens next, after the temporary visitation agreement expires on Oct. 20? Los Angeles-based family law specialist Matthew K. Skarin says it depends on the findings from the DFCS investigation.“DCFS could decide to investigate the issues further or, they will have made findings about whether or not there is any danger to the children and those findings will be taken into consideration by the family court,” he tells PEOPLE. “If the DCFS matter is kept open, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there have been any negative findings about either party. It could just mean that their investigation was inconclusive and they want to look into matters a little further. Assuming that there are no findings of any potential harm to any of the children, and DCFS is satisfied that the children are not in any danger with either of the parties, DCFS would then close their investigation.”
Also recall that the Us. report stated
The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services has extended their investigation of Brad Pitt for alleged child abuse, Us Weekly can confirm.
The protective order against the actor, 52, has been extended as investigators look into whether there are additional incidents or a pattern that may suggest a history of abuse that involves more than one of Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s six children.
"protective order against the actor"
So they still need the divorce petition to keep the DCFS at bay. The only people she wanted to impress with the divorce filing are the DCFS. His response effectively buys them time and allows them to wait out the DCFS investigation.
Brad could have filed a response earlier and he didn't. Why didn't he? Why only now two weeks after the deadline?
Angelina could have filed for a default judgement these past two weeks and she didn't. Why didn't she? It would have allowed her to get everything she asked for in the petition.
So lets look back at the TMZ report that explained why Brad didn't file before the deadline: Recall that this report came out Oct. 21 before they learned that the DCFS was expanding its investigation:
Brad Pitt will not file a legal response to Angelina Jolie's divorce petition because it would set the stage for a nasty legal battle ... and he fears it would cause great psychological damage to their kids.
So does the response now mean he wants a nasty legal battle and to cause great psychological damage to his kids?
Angelina could set the wheels in motion for a default judgment since Brad hasn't answered her petition, but we're told that is not going to happen. She agrees ... healing the family is the priority, not starting a war.
Does the response also mean that "healing the family" is no longer their priority? That the priority now is starting a war?
There's something else here at play. The L.A. County Dept. of Children and Family Services is still investigating the airplane confrontation between Brad and 15-year-old Maddox, and Brad will be in a much stronger position if DCFS closes the case before he files his answer.Let us see..TMZ earlier wrote:
DCFS does have the authority to recommend custody restrictions to the dependency court...
In the previous TMZ report they wrote:
None of our sources would say if the DCFS interviews turned up anything that would cause the agency to take action related to custody.
So ... first of all, the DCFS has not yet closed the investigation. Secondly, even if the DCFS closes its case, it could still recommend custody restrictions. So a closed investigation doesn't "clear" Brad. But in the previous report, the "Angelina sources" were hopeful that there wouldn't be any custody restrictions on Brad.
Our sources also say there's a chance the whole divorce case could settle privately without any dueling divorce docs. And, we're told, on that goal both Angelina and Brad agree.
Remember, that at the time of this report, they didn't know that the DCFS was going to expand the investigation. They thought the investigation was about to end. That was why they were in such a hurry to let people know that Brad already had a "turning point" visit with Maddox.
Does it sound possible that in the span of two weeks they ceased to care about their children or about wanting to "heal" their family? After talking about their concern for their children and wanting their family to heal almost from the start?
The only new development since that earlier TMZ report on Oct 21 is the DCFS decided on Oct. 25 to expand the investigation -- and it remains open.
The DCFS investigation is open-ended; there is no deadline:
...The parties reached an initial agreement and standard operating procedure is that a DCFS investigation is open-ended; DCFS is under no deadline and there is no delay here, simply a continuation of an ongoing process,” the source adds.
The fact remains that the children are still being viewed by the DCFS as being "in danger." If the investigation had closed we would certainly have heard about it. As we saw when the DCFS decided to expand the investigation, all other sites had the news before TMZ came out with its report.
Until the investigation closes, the children are not safe in the eyes of the DCFS.
And until that changes Angelina needs to convince the DCFS that they don't need to put the children in foster homes because she will keep them away from any danger.
"A source connected with Angelina says this is not about alcohol ... she would never leave Brad if it was just a substance abuse problem. The source says this is all about protecting their children.
I am always open to other possible explanations but I need supporting proof, not conjecture. I have to put more weight on their actions and what they've said through their reps when trying to figure out their intentions. Not what I think or hope or what's possible, but what is actually there.
And right now, what I have presented here is the best that I can make out based on everything they've said and done from the start.