Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are to conduct their divorce in private and work to reunify their family, the former couple have announced



The actors released a joint statement stating that they would keep future details of their divorce confidential by utilising a private judge.

Their statement said: "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."

Pitt, 53, and Jolie, 41 were together for 12 years and married for two years before Jolie filed for divorce in September.

The statement is the first joint comment from the actors on their divorce since Jolie filed to end their marriage in September.

At the time, one of her lawyers stated the petition was filed "for the health of the family".

Authorities investigated allegations that Pitt was abusive towards his 15-year-old son on a private flight, but sources familiar with the cases said the actor was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Private judges are often used in high-profile divorce cases, keeping many details of a break-up out of the public eye while a final judgment is negotiated.

Custody of their six children has been the primary issue in the divorce, with Jolie initially seeking sole physical custody.

California law favours joint custody in divorce cases, although final arrangements are often agreed to by parents and formalised in a written agreement.

Pitt and Jolie were married for two years and together for 12 after becoming close while filming Mr & Mrs Smith in 2005.

Their divorce, and every filing in it, has attracted international attention.

Last month, Pitt sought to seal custody records in the case, and a hearing had been scheduled for next week on the issue.

Both actors have kept a relatively low profile since their break-up was announced, although Pitt made an appearance on stage at Sunday's Golden Globes to spirited applause.


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