It's been two months since the former couple hired a private judge to deal with their divorce and custody issues. The negotiations are ongoing, but it seems they're closer to reaching a resolution, as Pitt, 53, and Jolie, 41, are once again communicating for the first time in a while.
"Things have calmed settled between Brad and Angelina. It's not as tense as it had been," a source tells E! News. "They are focused on the kids and working to do what's best for them."
Needless to say, it's been a busy six months for the Jolie-Pitts.
Pitt—who next appears in Netflix's War Machine—has been steadily working on a sculpture at Thomas Houseago's studio, while Jolie has ramped up her humanitarian efforts on behalf of the United Nations. After a rocky six months, the source says, "Brad has been able to spend more time with the kids. He's doing well and is focused on healthy, clean living. He's in a good place."
That's good news for siblings Maddox Jolie-Pitt, 15, Pax Jolie-Pitt, 13, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, 12, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, 10, Knox Jolie-Pitt, 8, and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, 8. They recently accompanied their mother on a trip to Cambodia, where she was promoting her Netflix drama, First They Killed My Father, a true account of the Khmer Rouge genocide told from a child's perspective.
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As for Pitt and Jolie's level of communication, an insider close to the actor says it's limited but positive. "They recently started talking again and it's a significant step. Up until now everything was through lawyers and assistants," the insider says. "They did not speak at all after the plane incident and everything that went down in the press." The decision to communication directly came "at the recommendation of the children's therapists and their own," the insider says, and the amicable exes "are focused on the kids and taking small steps to mend what has happened. Right now they are only speaking about the kids and their schedules, but it's a positive step."
"Brad hopes that they can be successful at co-parenting and get to a place where they can be friendly," the insider close to Pitt tells E! News. "They both have agreed to put the kids first."
That's in line with what Jolie told the BBC last month. "We are a family and we'll always be a family," she said. "And we will get through this time and hopefully be a stronger family for it."
"My focus is my children—our children—and my focus is finding this way through," the director continued. "And as I said, we are and forever will be a family. And so that is how I'm coping. I'm coping with finding a way through to make sure this somehow makes us stronger and closer."