The legal war between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie is getting uglier by the day. More than two years after the actress’ September 2016 divorce filing, the estranged couple are still fighting over custody of their six children.
Here is everything we know so far about Brangelina’s ongoing custody battle.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
The Oscar winners agreed on January 9, 2017, to seal all court documents in their divorce case after the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services cleared Pitt of child abuse accusations relating to an alleged incident with son Maddox aboard a private jet. The pair’s reps said in a statement to Us Weekly, “The parents are committed to act as a united front to effectuate recovery and reunification.”
Living With Mom
After nine months of living in various Malibu rentals, Jolie and her six children — Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh and twins Knox and Vivienne — moved into an 11,000 square-foot mansion in the Los Feliz neighborhood of L.A. in June 2017. Pitt, who was allowed supervised visitation with the kids, told the Associated Press around the same time that he spends his time “keeping the ship afloat” and “figuring out the new configuration of our family.”
Pitt and Jolie reached a temporary agreement on June 12, 2018, after the L.A. Superior Court determined that “not having a relationship with their father” would be “harmful” to the children. The court also said at the time that Maddox was essentially free to go with either parent because he was 17. The summer schedule split the kids’ time between London, where their mother was filming Maleficent 2, and their native Los Angeles, where their father was working on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Jolie’s Child Support Request
The Tomb Raider star filed a two-page brief in L.A. on August 7, 2018, that claimed Pitt “has paid no meaningful child support” since they separated. A source familiar with the situation countered to Us, “Brad has fulfilled all of his commitments under any agreements with Angelina. Hopefully both sides can come together and resolve this, and work it out for the sake of the children.”
A spokesperson for Jolie said in a statement to Us on August 7, 2018, that the aim of the actress’ court filing was to “provide closure to the marriage in a way that clears a path toward the next stage of their lives and allows her and Brad to recommit as devoted coparents to their children.”
The Fight Club actor filed a response in L.A. on August 8, 2018, in which he called Jolie’s request for more child support “unnecessary” and claimed it “omits material information and is a thinly-veiled effort to manipulate media coverage.” He also alleged that he loaned $8 million to Jolie to purchase her current home, in addition to $1.3 million for “the benefit of [Jolie] and the minor children.” Furthermore, a source told Us exclusively that Pitt “has contributed financially to the care, welfare and expenses of their children,” adding that Jolie never asked him for child support until her court filing.
Jolie Hits Back
The Girl, Interrupted star’s attorney Samantha Bley DeJean released a statement to Us on August 8, 2018, after Pitt’s response. “Angelina’s filing … was both legally appropriate and factually accurate in all respects. What has been filed by Brad’s side … is a blatant attempt to obfuscate the truth and distract from the fact that he has not fully met his legal obligations to support the children,” DeJean claimed. She said Pitt’s loan for Jolie’s home “is not … child support and to represent it as such is misleading and inaccurate.” She added, “Typically a father of means would pay these expenses voluntarily without the need for a request or court order. We are hopeful that this can be resolved without further delay or posturing.”
Jolie and Pitt agreed on August 22, 2018, to continue their interim custody schedule “after recommendations from the custody evaluator,” according to a source close to the situation.
Us confirmed on August 27, 2018, that the Changeling actress parted ways with her divorce attorney, Laura Wasser. “Angelina has decided to change counsel to Samantha Bley DeJean, as Samantha’s expertise is the protection and best interest of children,” Jolie’s spokeswoman told Us. “Angelina appreciates Laura’s cooperation in transitioning the case over the past several weeks.”
A source revealed to Us exclusively in mid-September 2018 that Pitt “has the children every other day” — more specifically, “four hours a day on school days and 12 hours on nonschool days.” A second source added, “[Pitt is] hopeful that at the conclusion, he’ll have joint custody of the children. All Brad wants is to be a present dad and coparent with Angelina.”
Headed to Court
A trial in the By the Sea costars’ custody battle was set for December 4, 2018, according to court documents obtained by Us on November 5. Jolie and Pitt also extended the appointment of Judge John Ouderkirk as a temporary judge through June 30, 2019.
Settled … For Now
Jolie’s lawyer confirmed to Us in November 2018 that the pair had agreed on a custody arrangement and would avoid trial. “Brad and Angelina will have joint physical and legal custody of the children,” a Pitt insider told Us at the time. “Over a period of the next six to eight weeks, the monitored visits will come to a conclusion. The children will immediately begin to have overnight visits with their father. The monitors will be in place for those first overnight visits, and this was done at Brad’s request. Brad recognizes this is going to be a change from what the norm had been and wants to make the transition as smooth as possible.”
Pitt and Jolie filed a judgement to be deemed legally single in April 2019, according to court documents obtained by Us. While their marriage is over, the exes will continue to negotiate their divorce settlement, regarding custody and assets, per the paperwork. That same month, a source told Us that the Maleficent: Mistress of Evil actress is “always coming up with fun things to do” with their six kids. “Her kids are her life,” the source said. “Every day is a new adventure.”
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