LOS ANGELES - The divorce proceedings of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are at a deadlock again.
According to documents obtained by entertainment magazine US Weekly, Jolie claimed John W. Ouderkirk, the judge who was hired to preside over the case in 2017, had "ongoing business and professional relationships" with Pitt.
The 45-year-old Oscar-winning actress believes that Ouderkirk, who also officiated the couple's 2014 wedding in France, would give her ex-husband an advantage in the case.
Her lawyer, Samantha Bley DeJean, told the magazine: "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."
Jolie has filed a request to remove Ouderkirk from the proceedings. Pitt's legal team has accused her of intentionally trying to delay the proceedings, which are reaching its fourth year, and shot back at her claim.
The court documents read: "Unfortunately, the individuals hurt most by Jolie's transparently tactical gambit are the parties' own children, who continue to be deprived of a final resolution."
Pitt, 56, and Jolie met on the set of the 2005 action comedy film Mr. & Mrs. Smith in 2004, and married in 2014. She filed for divorce two years later, citing "irreconcilable differences" and ending their 12-year relationship.
They co-parent six children aged 12 to 19, who have been living with Jolie since the couple split. Pitt has visitation rights.