Wednesday, January 18, 2017
A Request and an Order were entered on Jan. 17. We don't know who filed the Request. We also don't know anything about the Order. Since every request for order, stipulation & order, or motion should elicit a response from the court, I presume the Order pertains to her previous RFO for which no court action had yet been entered. It means the judge appointed a minors' counsel. The Request is a new RFO which may be to set aside the Custody Stipulation. If it is, Angelina is likely the one who filed since she filed the stipulation with the court.
If it's the RFO to set aside the Custody Stipulation things are certainly moving fast. I had thought it might take longer to get all the supporting documents -- primarily the therapists' declarations -- in place. But as noted previously, they don't want to waste any time. They want to expedite the process to set aside all the court actions in order to legally recognize the family's reunification.
Now that the case is before a private judge, there is the barest minimum info re the filings. The RFO to set aside the Custody Stipulation would be the most sensitive filing in the case and would be totally sealed from the public but there is no indication that documents were filed under seal, no Notice of Lodging. We can only guess that it's the Custody Stipulation because it's the next obvious RFO after the appointment of minor's counsel.
Brad had opposed the appointment of minors' counsel last year while the boys still refused his visits and the younger kids had just started to warm up to him. This time, the family is already living together so he knows the children are happy to live with him and he wants the minors' counsel to communicate their feelings to the judge. The declarations from the therapists will explain why they no longer need therapeutic visits with Brad and no longer need to remain in Angelina's custody. Dr. Russ will also state in his declaration that Brad has satisfactorily complied with therapy requirements and passed drug and alcohol tests. The declarations seek to convince the judge that the best interests of the children are no longer served by the Custody Stipulation and it should be set aside. Because the Stipulation concerns the children's welfare and safety, the judge's ruling will necessarily be very thoroughly researched and carefully written.
While it was Angelina who filed the RFO to appoint minor's counsel and likely also the RFO to set aside the Custody Stipulation, they both benefit Brad. After the RFO to set aside the Custody Stipulation is granted, the Request for Dismissal of the petition will be filed together with a S&O to dismiss.
I believe Brad is shouldering all the expenses incurred by the family since the Sept. 14 incident including Wasser's legal fees and the cost of renting homes.
On Sept. 30, before the DCFS released it's Custody plan, TMZ wrote that Brad and Angelina had already agreed on "Custody and visitation" and "Temporary support for Angelina and the kids."
On Dec. 1 Wasser wrote: "If we know that we will get to that point via either costly, ugly, protracted and public court battles or by virtue of out-of-court resolution and the therapeutic process upon which we all agreed less than a month ago, why would you opt to blow it all up and choose the former?"
Wasser and Spiegel should not have had much to do after the Custody Stipulation was signed until it was time to set it and the petition aside. But Brad's attempts to get more time with the children beyond what the therapists recommended ramped up expenses. Lawyers bill by the hour and Brad's efforts to set up his own schedule resulted in many additional email exchanges, meetings, motions, filings, stipulations, RFOs and responses that added up to many more billable hours. Johnny Depp's bill from Wasser reached almost $1M, although that was obviously a far different case that required protracted negotiations and multiple hearings. They only had one brief public hearing on Brad's ex parte motion. Outside of Brad's misguided efforts, their lawyers would be working together as "good liaisons between our clients and the mental health professionals" in order to "help this family achieve their long-term reunification goals in a smooth and expeditious manner." The combined bill from Wasser's office plus Spiegel's and Fishbein's should be much less than Johnny's.
Given that Brad tried to maneuver around the Custody Stipulation 3 weeks after he signed it, I've wondered if he was able to hold back from trying to contact Angelina while the DCFS investigation was open and there was a no-contact order between them. There were several reports that he was "in bad shape" after she filed. His legal team drafted the S&O to seal on Sept. 26 possibly in preparation for an aborted action against the DCFS.
They were allowed to meet to discuss and draft the Custody Stipulation which they signed on Oct. 26, so I would guess they had their first officially sanctioned contact around Oct 20 -- 5 weeks after the DCFS took action. As for unofficial contact -- it would be in keeping with his actions and behavior that he would try to find a way around the restrictions. He was miserable and ready to fight the DCFS. He has the means to come up with an elaborate plan and trusted associates with homes in Malibu.
By the time he appeared publicly in early November to promote Moonlight with Julia Roberts and attend the L.A. premiere of Allied, Brad had presumably spent a lot of time and effort to improve his appearance. He was still struggling to reconnect with the kids but he and Angelina could already see each other. Still, the change in his appearance was startling and his face was frequently in a grimace. So when they said he was in bad shape a month earlier, he must have looked really bad. While I am sure Angelina wanted to comply with the DCFS, if people very close to him told her he was desperate, she would be hard pressed to refuse. She said she "will do everything in her power to protect her family" and while the children obviously came first, she would have taken care of Brad as well -- as she has in fact done since.
You can see how determined they are to maintain their silence. There has been no comment on Brad's two public appearances, no comment on the Zahara birth mom story. This is closer to how they handled things before. They were both largely inaccessible to the press and they had no one speaking on their behalf.
Some time before Dec. 30, Brad's efforts at reestablishing his relationship with the kids reached a turning point so that by Dec. 30, Angelina was happy and relaxed to be photographed walking around Crested Butte with Mariane Pearl and Vivienne. They've since been very comfortable resuming their activities out in public after being out of sight for almost 3 months. From all appearances, life has returned to normal. Angelina and the kids are back home. The court actions are the last things left and those should be cleared away long before First They Killed has its premiere in a month.
Almost all the major entertainment sites - ET, E, Us - ran the dubious Zahara story. The notable exception was People. People may be trying to make amends now that they realize they will be dealing with them as a couple and the side they backed is not the one in control of the couple's media strategy.
Mary Green was the People writer they regularly dealt with. In the last article on them that Green collaborated in, she wrote: "A family member exclusively tells PEOPLE "Her family is broken and she is in agony. Her children are recovering from the events that brought about the filing of the divorce"
If there is rapprochement between People and Angelina, it will be because Mary Green was not involved in People's reports over the last 3 months.
Posted by FussyKitty at 8:20 AM