Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's Custody Battle Will Go to Trial

The estranged couple filed for divorce in 2016

By Lena Grossman Nov 06, 2018 1:51 PMTags
Brad Pitt, Angelina JolieGetty Images

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's ongoing custody battle is heading to court.

According to court documents obtained by E! News, their trial will begin on Dec. 4. Retired Judge John W. Odenkirk was appointed to be the judge in their custody trial through June 30, 2019. 

A source tells E! News, "It's been up and down for months and they aren't anywhere close to making an agreement."

This is the latest update in Jolie and Pitt's continuous dispute over custody of their six children: Maddox Jolie-Pitt 17, Pax Jolie-Pitt,14, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, 13, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt 12, Knox Jolie-Pitt, and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, 10. A source told E! News on Monday, "They're still working together towards an out of court settlement. Angelina is not seeking sole custody of the kids, she still supports the reconciliation of the children with their father."

In August, there were reports that the parents had reached an agreement, but those claims turned out to be false. A source told E! News at the time, "In terms of the kids' relationship with Brad, Angelina definitely remains committed to helping the kids heal with their father."

Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt on Sept. 19, 2016, citing irreconcilable differences and requesting full custody of the children.

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Marc Piasecki/WireImage

In September 2016, Pitt was allegedly involved in an incident on a private plane flying from Europe back to Los Angeles. The FBI also got involved in the matter and closed the investigation in November 2016. "In response to allegations made following a flight within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States which landed in Los Angeles carrying Mr. Brad Pitt and his children, the FBI has conducted a review of the circumstances and will not pursue further investigation. No charges have been filed in this matter," a FBI spokesman said in a statement to E! News at the time.

During the time of the FBI investigation, Pitt sought joint physical custody.

And since the alleged incident, a source tells E! News, "Brad has changed a lot since the marriage ended. He has bettered himself and is healthy and feeling great."

However, nearly two years after filing, Jolie and Pitt are still working on a settlement. In May, sources revealed to E! News that Jolie and Pitt were "at odds over custody." Over the summer, they came to a temporary agreement in which Pitt would have visitation with the kids because, according to a judge, "not having a relationship with their father is harmful." The judge added it was "critical that each of them have a healthy and strong relationship with their father and mother."

And Brad agrees with the judge on the matter, as an insider says Brad "wants joint custody and to have a relationship with each one of them."

Then, two months later in August, Jolie accused Pitt of not paying "meaningful" child support. Pitt's camp replied and his attorney Lance Spiegel wrote in a brief filed in L.A. Superior Court that Jolie's claim is "unnecessary, omits material information and is a thinly-veiled effort to manipulate media coverage." 

Jolie's rep responded to Pitt's filing. They said in a statement to E! News, "Angelina's filing of yesterday was both legally appropriate and factually accurate in all respects. What has been filed by Brad's side today 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." 

The rep added, "Angelina is asking Brad to pay 50 percent of the children's expenses. He has not."

But a source close to Pitt rejected those statements provided by Jolie's team. The insider insisted, "Brad always fulfills his commitments."

With the custody battle going to court, a source says Brad is "not going to give in on custody."

E! News has reached out to both Jolie and Pitt's lawyers for comment.