At one point of time, they were one of Hollywood's biggest power couple, but even as their marriage ended two years ago, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie seem to be at each others' throats almost constantly. Terms of custody of their children, for example still hangs in the balance as they are yet to settle it down.
What is still keeping them at odds? According to a report by E!, the couple, who at one point of time shared a massive fortune including multiple homes, seem to have narrowed their divorce proceedings down to one factor - their children -- Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, Knox and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt.
"The last two years of their lives have been very difficult and stressful," a source close to the family told E! News. "The kids are aware of what's going on. They're old enough to get it" and "it hasn't been good for anyone."
The court has reportedly set December 4 as the final date for the two parents to reach a consensus and have a custody agreement in hand if not, there will be a trial. A trial will make a lot more things public than the couple would want to, or be comfortable with, notes the report.
Pitt reportedly complained that the family is already bearing the brunt of the ongoing divorce battle. "Their family as they knew it was torn apart and it's going to take a lot of time and therapy to try and make sense of it all and get back on track. Brad doesn't know what the long-term effects are."
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie first started off as a couple in 2005 and nine years later, they were married in 2014. From the very beginning, the couple faced a lot of rumours and gossip, considering the fact that they were at the time, one of the most loved couples in Hollywood.
That is one of the reasons why Jolie filed for divorce in September 2016 and it came as a general shock to the world. She is reported to have said "for the health of the family," as grounds for the divorce in a statement.
This came right before news broke of an FBI and L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services investigation on Pitt. It was alleged that Pitt and his son, Maddox—15 at the time—had a huge argument aboard a private jet flying to the US from London.
No wrongdoing was found on Pitt's part, but it led to extended supervised visits and a lot of therapy which eventually saw Maddox come to visit his father after a long time.
Since then there has been a lot of back and forth between the couple and their lawyers. The report mentions that they took the whole of 2017 off from the divorce because they wanted to "get it right".
In August this year, Jolie is believed to have alleged in a court filing, saying that Pitt "paid no meaningful child support" since the time they were separated. As a counter, Pitt's lawyer is reported to have said filed a brief saying that Jolie's filing was nothing more than a "thinly veiled effort to manipulate media coverage."
According to the document, notes E! News, Brad Pitt reportedly loaned Jolie $8 million to purchase her house. He had "paid over $1.3 million in bills," to benefit her and the children.
On the other hand, Jolie's lawyers said that her brief was "both legally appropriate and factually accurate in all respects," while accusing Pitt's rebuttal as "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."
Pitt was, according to Jolie's lawyers, charging an interest on the money, and that Jolie would "of course honour that loan. A loan is not, however, child support and to represent it as such is misleading and inaccurate," said the statement. Jolie was only asking Pitt to pay 50 percent of their children's expenses, said the lawyer.
Till about last week, both Jolie and Pitt were still working to come to an out-of-court settlement.