Ever since news broke of the demise of Brangelina, the divorce and custody battle raging between actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie has been playing out on a global stage. Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt in 2016, after a 12-year-long relationship.
The longtime couple first met on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, the 2004 film where the two play a husband and wife who each who discover the other is a spy. Pitt, who was married to Friends actress Jennifer Aniston at the time, maintains he never cheated on his wife.
The couple has weathered many a storm together, including Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy after discovering she is a carrier for a breast cancer gene. Pitt and Jolie also share six kids together, Maddox, 17; Pax, 14; Zahara, 13; Shiloh, 12; and twins Knox and Vivienne, 10, who are in the middle of this very combative legal fight between their parents.
After a brief lull in the public coverage of the couple's custody battle, Jolie and Pitt's legal teams have been duking it out thought their lawyers, with public document filings becoming tabloid fodder. This past week, Jolie's team alleged Pitt has paid no "meaningful child support" since the couple's 2016 separation. Pitt's legal team responded in kind, claiming the actor loaned his estranged wife $8 million as a home loan and paid another $1.3 million in child support payments. Representation for Pitt and Jolie did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the current state of their divorce.
With so many reports being broadcast out at a breakneck speed, here is a comprehensive timeline of the Jolie-Pitt divorce, from first filing to the most recent update.
August 23, 2014
September 19, 2016
TMZ is first to break the news that Jolie has filed for divorce from Pitt, citing irreconcilable differences as grounds for the divorce. Jolie listed the date of separation as September 15, 2016. A rep for Jolie says her decision to end the marriage was "for the health of the family."
Pitt releases a statement to People, saying, "I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the wellbeing of our kids. I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time."
September 29, 2016
Jolie hires crisis manager Judy Smith. If the name seems familiar, that's because a certain Olivia Pope was based on her.
September 30, 2016
Jolie is granted temporary full custody of all six Jolie-Pitt children after a recommendation from the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS). The organization launches an investigation over a claim that Pitt was abusive to Maddox during an allegedly drunken fight on September 14 when the family stopped to refuel their private plane at Minnesota’s International Falls Airport. Pitt is still allowed monitored therapy visits with the children.
November 8, 2016
Jolie and Pitt reach a custody agreement in which the kids stayed in the Maleficent star's custody while attending "therapeutic visits with their father. This has been determined by child-care professionals to be in the children’s best interest," reported People.
November 9, 2016
November 11, 2016
In the wake of news that Pitt was no longer being investigated for child abuse, Jolie released a statement via a spokesperson: "Childcare professionals encouraged a legal agreement accepted and signed by both sides that was in the best interest of the children. Angelina said from the beginning that she felt she had to take action for the health of the family and is relieved that after their eight-week involvement, the DCFS is now satisfied the safeguards are put in place that will allow the children to heal."
December 21, 2016
Pitt files a request with the court to seal all documents related to custody issues between him and Jolie. Pitt accuses his estranged wife of not taking the right measures to protect the privacy of their six children, pointing to public filings that identified the children's therapists by name.
Pitt's team also claims Jolie has “no self-regulating mechanism” to restrict sensitive information from making its way to the public.
January 10, 2017
People publishes Jolie and Pitt's joint statement about their plans to be a "united front" for their children's sake: "The parties and their counsel have signed agreements to preserve the privacy rights of their children and family by keeping all court documents confidential and engaging a private judge to make any necessary legal decisions and to facilitate the expeditious resolution of any remaining issues. The parents are committed to act as a united front to effectuate recovery and reunification."
February 20, 2017
March 20, 2017
In unexpected news that raises eyebrows, Brangelina releases a line of olive oil from Chateau Miraval, the French estate that Pitt and Angelina own together. The couple had previously released a line of wine from the vineyards located on the estate. (As of August 2018, the couple still owned the estate together and had no plans to sell, according to a Daily Mail interview with their partner and vintner, Charles Perrin.)
April 20th, 2017
May 3, 2017
In a lengthy profile in GQ Style, Pitt is candid about the divorce and what he has learned about himself in this process: "I heard one lawyer say, 'No one wins in court—it's just a matter of who gets hurt worse.' And it seems to be true, you spend a year just focused on building a case to prove your point and why you're right and why they're wrong, and it's just an investment in vitriolic hatred. I just refuse. And fortunately my partner in this agrees. It's just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart."
July 26, 2017
In that same interview with Vanity Fair, her first comprehensive one since the divorce filing, Jolie opens up about her relationship with Pitt: "Things got bad, I didn’t want to use that word...Things became 'difficult,'" she said, adding, "[The children are] not healing from divorce. They’re healing from some...from life, from things in life."
Despite not giving away too many details, Jolie had some positive thoughts to share on her estranged husband and parenting. "We care for each other and care about our family, and we are both working towards the same goal," she explained. "I was very worried about my mother, growing up — a lot. I do not want my children to be worried about me. I think it’s very important to cry in the shower and not in front of them. They need to know that everything’s going to be all right even when you’re not sure it is."
December 5, 2017
Jolie said: "I thought it would be a good way for us to communicate. In some ways it was [good], and in some ways we learned some things. But there was a heaviness probably during that situation that carried on and it wasn't because of the film."
June 13, 2018
A judge in the custody proceedings insists the Jolie-Pitt children must maintain a "healthy relationship" with their father. In court documents obtained by People, the judge said if the children don't spend more time with Pitt, it "may result in a reduction of the time they spend with [Jolie]."
In a statement provided to Refinery29, Jolie's reps wrote:
"This misleading leak is not in the best interests of the children. From the start, Angelina has been focused only on their health and needs, which is why it was so important that this last court hearing be conducted privately. It’s deplorable that someone, for their own selfish reasons, leaked selective portions of the confidential and sealed court record to create an inaccurate and unfair picture of what is really happening."
August 7, 2018
NBC News breaks the news that according to a new court filing, Jolie is alleging that Pitt "has paid no meaningful child support since separation.” A rep for Jolie tells People the "routine court filing" serves 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 co-parents to their children.”
August 8, 2018
In a brief filed to the Superior Court of the State of California, Pitt's lawyer Lance Spiegel claims Jolie’s filing is “a thinly-veiled effort to manipulate media coverage.” The brief adds that Pitt loaned $8 million to Jolie to help her purchase her home, and paid $1.3 million “in bills for the benefit of [Jolie] and the minor children.”
August 8, 2018
Jolie's team responds to Pitt's brief, maintaining that Pitt's home loan does not constitute child support payments. In a statement sent to People, Jolie's attorney, Samantha Bley DeJean, said: “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."
She added: “A loan is not[...] child support and to represent it as such is misleading and inaccurate[...] Angelina has had to shoulder the majority of those [payments] without his contribution for the past two years. Child support is not optional in California.”
September 19, 2018*
Speaking with ET, an anonymous source revealed Pitt and Jolie may have met to put the contentious custody battle behind them. "Brad and Angelina actually set up a secret meeting at her house," the source says to the outlet. "It’s the first time they have truly gotten together to make things work since their group therapy with the children. Brad and Angie’s meeting was a success. They are going to stay with the plan set forth through the courts."
*This story was originally published on August 10. Additional reporting was added.