Brad Pitt has accused his ex Angelina Jolie of stalling their divorce because a forthcoming custody trial may change the arrangements for bringing up their children.
The Hollywood couple separated back in 2016, and the actors officially became single again in April 2019 after obtaining a bifurcated judgment - ending their marriage but giving them time to reach financial and custody settlements relating to their six kids.
Earlier this month, the Maleficent star asked for Judge John W. Ouderkirk to be removed from their case, citing issues regarding his other business engagements with one of Pitt's attorneys, Anne C. Kiley - a move Pitt has opposed.
According to legal documents, obtained by The Blast, the 56-year-old actor's legal team has claimed Jolie's objections are merely an attempt to stall as she doesn't want to change their current custody arrangement.
In the filing, his legal team claimed the "timing of Jolie's request for disqualification shows that it was filed purely for strategic reasons."
"First, Jolie's request for disclosures came immediately on the heels of the custody issues in this case being set for hearing in October 2020, dates her own counsel requested. In that proceeding, the Court will rule on Pitt's request to modify, which Jolie opposes," the filing reads.
The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star has also alleged his ex is using stalling tactics to prevent Dr. Stan Katz appearing at the trial and advising he should be given more times with the kids, as his appointment expires in November, meaning a delay could exclude him from the trial.
"Jolie's, perhaps legitimate‚ concern that the custody arrangement will be altered is not occasion for her and her attorneys to abuse procedural rules intended for serious infractions of judicial officers," the filing continued, with his legal team calling her complaints "factually unsupported and legally meritless."
In a statement on Thursday, the Maleficent star's lawyer said: "All my client is asking for is a fair trial based on facts, with no special favours extended to either side. The only way litigants can trust the process is for everyone involved to ensure that there's transparency and impartiality."
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