An unexpected ruling in the Brad Pitt versus Angelina Jolie child custody battle drastically changed the dynamics of the case.

The court remanded a May decision granting Brad Pitt additional time with the five minor children of the former couple after a three-judge panel disqualified Judge John Ouderkirk for violating “his ethical obligations.”

A California court sided with Jolie’s argument that interim judge Ouderkirk, who failed to disclose his business relationships with Pitt’s lawyers, might have acted biasedly in his rulings.

As a source close to Brad revealed, “Brad believes there is overwhelming evidence that the current situation isn’t good for the kids. This just sets things back for everyone.”

Currently, there are no comments from Jolie’s team regarding the new opinion.

Previously, 57-year-old Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie agreed that if the Panel disqualified John Ouderkirk, the parenting arrangement between them would revert to what had been decided before November 2018.

John Ouderkirk’s alleged failure to disclose the legal proceedings regarding Pitt’s legal counsel led the judges over the hearing earlier this month to question whether he was competent to handle the case.

Brad Pitt’s spokesperson said,

“The appeals court ruling was based on a technical procedural issue. The facts have not changed. There is an extraordinary amount of factual evidence which led the judge and the many experts who testified to reach their clear conclusion about what is in the children’s best interests. We will continue to do what is necessary legally based on the detailed findings of what’s best for the children.”

While discussing Pitt’s request for a new custody hearing in June 2020, Jolie’s attorney Samantha Bley DeJean asked the judge if he was working on new cases with Pitt’s attorneys.

Despite thinking that a case was completed in 2018, Judge John Ouderkirk revealed he was still working on one subject, which he had previously thought was complete but had neglected to mention was still ongoing.

As a result of Ouderkirk’s delayed disclosure of that information, the Panel deemed it disqualifying and an “ethical breach.”

According to the Panel’s opinion,

“Jolie acquired this new information only because her counsel asked whether Judge Ouderkirk had any new engagements to report, not because Judge Ouderkirk had complied with his obligation under the Code of Judicial Ethics to make the disclosures. In sum, Judge Ouderkirk’s ethical breach, considered together with the information disclosed concerning his recent professional relationships with Pitt’s counsel, might cause an objective person, aware of all the facts, reasonably to entertain a doubt as to the judge’s ability to be impartial. Disqualification is required.”

In his previous ruling, Ouderkirk considered five estranged couples’ minor children: Pax, 17, Zahara, 16, Shiloh, 14, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 12 years old. Despite the ruling, Maddox, 19, the eldest of the couple’s children, is no longer in the custody dispute.

Sources said in May that custody arrangements had not yet changed. However, it was unclear whether the decision was legally binding.

The “Maleficent” actress filed a complaint to California’s Second District Court of Appeal two days before the judge’s ruling was made public. She was displeased with Ouderkirk’s ruling and continued involvement in the case.

Sources close to Pitt said he “has always wanted what is best for the kids, and to spend time with them.”

Angelina Jolie’s representative stated that “joint custody is not the issue that Angelina objects to, there were other issues of concern, but the court proceedings are closed and sealed.”