The actor Brad Pitt was granted joint custody of his five underage children with his former wife, actor Angelina Jolie, in a tentative ruling, sources confirmed to NBC News on Wednesday.
Pitt, who split from Jolie in 2016, was granted a request to adjust the current custody agreement to allow him more time with his children, according to two sources familiar with the situation. The new arrangement tentatively splits Pitt’s legal custody equally with his ex-wife.
Court documents in the ongoing custody dispute were sealed from public record in 2017 out of concern for the minor children.
Attorneys for Pitt filed a motion Monday in support of a sealed custody order, requesting notice to the court that Judge John W. Odenkirk “has conducted an extensive proceeding over the past six months in a thorough, fair manner and reached a tentative ruling and order after hearing from experts and percipient witnesses.” The motion was made to “correct” the record against “factual and legal inaccuracies” made by Jolie’s legal team in opposition.
A third source familiar with the matter emphasized that the ruling was tentative and that joint custody was not the primary issue Jolie was objecting to, saying she will continue her legal fight.
Neither attorneys for Jolie nor Pitt immediately responded to requests for comment from NBC News on Wednesday.
The former couple share six children together — Maddox, Pax and Zahara, who were adopted, plus biological children Shiloh, and twins Knox and Vivienne — though Maddox is no longer a minor and is not subject to the custody agreement.
Jolie said last year in an interview with Vogue that she split from Pitt for the well-being of her family.
“It was the right decision,” she said. “I continue to focus on their healing. Some have taken advantage of my silence, and the children see lies about themselves in the media, but I remind them that they know their own truth and their own minds. In fact, they are six very brave, very strong young people."
Pitt opened up shortly after their separation about making the decision to quit drinking and smoking marijuana in a 2017 interview with GQ, telling the magazine he simply didn’t “want to live that way anymore.”
“For me, every misstep has been a step toward epiphany, understanding, some kind of joy,” he said at the time. "Yeah, the avoidance of pain is a real mistake. It's the real missing out on life.”