Brad Pitt - Supervised Therapeutic Visitation or Case Closed?
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November 14, 2016

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Was it really only back in September that we found out that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were having marital problems? Yes, September of 2016, we learned that the long term relationship between Pitt and Jolie had some very serious issues.

The stated cause of the divorce was "irreconcilable differences", which is an enormous catch all. It is the "he's an extrovert and I'm and introvert, and we didn't realize while we were dating". There is his side, her side and the truth which is almost impossible to tease out in most marriages. 

Before the understanding of what life might really be like when the financial truths become reality... endless lawyer visits, delaying tactics... full Court calendars and agreeing to nothing but disagreement is the typical path for most couples seeing divorce. They watch nothing happening but their bank accounts emptying. 

Time passes. He says things, she says things.... evidence of behavior is difficult to attain... Courts in the average person's world seek to keep both parents in the picture in order to keep the family together. Fathers have rights too. I would never say otherwise, but I would say that in most situations, it takes time to determine the best resolution, and even if a decision could be made in a speedier manner, average people are at the mercy of the schedule of the Court.

Then we hear that the Jolie/Pitt matter has been resolved. Already? She filed for divorce with sole custody; he filed for divorce with joint custody. 

Uh, yet again, I want to be her. Beauty, endless legs, bottomless bank account, noble causes to let me sleep well at night... speedy divorce... wait, what?

Speedy divorce with some suggestion that the Court listened to her? It has already been determined, not 3 months after his unexplained incident on the plane, that she is to retain custody of the 6 children, and Pitt is to get something called "therapeutic visitation".  Seems a bit fast?

There are different types of supervised visitation: Simply having another adult present, is different than Therapeutic Supervised Visitation. Both of these are different than Reunification of parent and child.

During Therapeutic Supervised Visitation, the goals are to create a safe environment for the children, but there is also the goal of teaching the non-custodial parent to learn to parent in a safe constructive environment.If necessary, the mental health clinical can intervene. It is also not unheard of that such visitation be ended on any particular session by calling the custodial parent to pick up the children. This plan is not one that can be made quickly. The clinicians and mental health professionals, along with the Courts must have complete access to make a determination that this is necessary. Police records, if any, along with any other documentation must be presented to allow the professionals to have access to the full picture. 

Without having a whole lot more information, it would seem as though there was some showing made, by Jolie, that the two households would not provide an equally healthy atmosphere for the children. Looking a little further into some distinctions that might be very relevant here. I want to point out that in the case of a high conflict divorce, it is possible that children may be removed from contact with one parent, simply by nature of the situation. This may not be an issue of fault, but might instead be situational. I do not think it's fair to assume things we do not know for sure. In situations like this, Reunification Therapy, rather than Therapeutic Supervised Visitation is the method of choice for many forensic psychologists.  The goal is to re-introduce the non-custodial parent back into the lives of the child or children if they have been absent. Unless there is a lot that we are not aware of, it seems that there is more going on here.

Since the incident on the plane happened in early September, it is more likely that Jolie had a lot of stories to tell, stories that we can only imagine, or empathize with. We do not know the details of that event, but it was probably a moving piece of the fuller situation in that family. Supervised visitation comes about when there is something that puts the children "at risk".  We do not know much, if anything else about Pitt's relationship with his children. The couple seemed very private in their lives and interactions as a couple and as parents. I think it's fair to say that other than those within the group's private circle, people seemed stunned by the turn of events.

Most who know Pitt suggest that he is a devoted father. Could it be that she just wants him gone?

I hate to guess... I hate to assume facts not in evidence. The terms of the agreement are not available, but one thing is clear, or is it? The sides negotiated with their lawyers and childcare professionals to reach the terms of the Agreement. The nature of the visitation is said to be Therapeutic Supervised, not Supervised, and not Reunification. ( It barely seems as though they were apart long enough to need a gentle re-introduction back into the lives of the children, unless something else was apparent to the professionals involved.)

There is the possibility that we are not aware of everything going on here. Conflicting sources suggest that the investigation has been closed. As I suspected when I first started writing this, the speed of resolution was curious. Apparently since the closing of the investigation, Jolie is still pushing for sole custody. Ugliness rears its head... she is just like the rest of us who just wish that the person we no longer love would just go away. Angelina Jolie just has more money and power than the rest of us, and maybe she is a little more willing to stretch the truth than the rest of us. The kids are seemingly missing their father, and that is truly sad. 

We can draw our own conclusions. We can also wish that those of us not in the public spotlight would be afforded the same speed and attention as this family was afforded. Non-celebrities with fewer resources might also benefit from speedy resolution. Was it some need, greater than all the other needy cases with children living in unhealthy situations, or was it Celebrity that allowed this case to move faster than most?  For now, I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt. The speed, and the closing of the initial investigation here makes me think that Jolie has not put the needs of her children first. 


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