Hollywood has been stunned by the sudden split of one its golden couples, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. It was announced in September that the couple is divorcing after a lengthy and high profile relationship spanning more than ten years. They share six children together – 3 of whom are adopted – and they have a vast estate that includes a Chateau in the South of France with a working winery. However, unlike many high profile splits, it is not the asset division that has become the biggest source of contention in this saga, but rather custody and visitation rights over their six children.
In a twist that would rival any Hollywood script, it was revealed shortly after Jolie’s divorce filing that the L.A. Department of Child and Family Services (“DCFS”) was investigating Pitt for becoming physically confrontational with the couple’s oldest son Maddox on an international flight aboard a private plane. As a result, it has been widely reported that Pitt’s initial reintroduction and visitation with his children has been supervised by a third party based on temporary recommendation from DCFS.
Supervised visits are generally imposed by Courts in Georgia when there is a potential risk of an unsafe and/or unhealthy environment for the children involved. This tool is also used when an investigation is being made into allegations of abuse or inappropriate behavior. Until the investigation is complete and a determination can be made regarding the validity of the allegations, a judge may impose supervised visitation out of an abundance of caution. This ensures the protection of the children if the allegations are later validated, but also ensures continuing contact between the children and that particular parent. This is likely what is occurring in Pitt’s case, as it has been reported that all parties are awaiting the results of the DFCS investigation before moving forward with a more permanent visitation schedule.
Supervised visitation services in Georgia generally come at a steep price. They generally run at about $50 per hour, plus an added fee for the supervisor to prepare a written report at the conclusion of the visit. In addition to the cost, both parents must fill out forms in advance of the visits and follow-strict guidelines during the visit. However, despite the cost and strict guidelines, supervision services often place a particular emphasis on keeping the visits as natural as possible for the child. The following provides more detailed information for supervised visitation services offered in Georgia and other states: http://www.svnetwork.net/. Thankfully for Pitt, he can easily afford any cost associated with supervised visits with his children, though the affordability probably doesn’t ease the sting of the negative stigma.