LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brad Pitt is asking a judge to grant him joint custody of his six children in his split from Angelina Jolie Pitt, according to a divorce filing Friday.
The actor's request was included in his response to Jolie Pitt's Sept. 20 petition to end their two-year marriage. The actress sought sole physical custody of their six children, who range in age from 8 to 15.
Custody has been the major issue in the breakup so far, with authorities investigating Pitt over what happened during a dispute on a private flight with his family in mid-September. The couple reached a temporary custody agreement that allowed the actor to visit his children while the investigation by a child welfare agency in Los Angeles is ongoing.
The outcome of the investigation could impact how a judge determines custody arrangements, although courts in California generally favor awarding joint custody. The actors could also reach a private agreement that would not involve a public custody fight in court.
Pitt's filing does not include any new details about the couple's breakup. Pitt cited irreconcilable differences and makes no mention of a prenuptial agreement that will govern how the pair divides their assets. He also cites Sept. 15 as the day of their separation, one day after the alleged plane altercation between Pitt and his 15-year-old son, Maddox.
Pitt was accused of being abusive toward the teenager, sources told The Associated Press, but authorities were not notified when the plane landed in Minnesota. Several sources said the incident was being investigated by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, but the agency said it could not confirm whether it was involved.
The actors were together for 12 years after becoming close while filming 2005's "Mr. & Mrs. Smith."
As one of Hollywood's elite power couples, the actors transformed the flurry of headlines into a force for good.
They adopted children from Cambodia, Vietnam and Ethiopia. In 2006, they formed the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, to which they funneled many of the millions they made selling personal pictures to celebrity magazines.
Jolie Pitt, who became special envoy for the United Nations in 2012, became an outspoken voice for refugees, as well as for breast cancer treatment after undergoing a double mastectomy herself. Pitt built homes in New Orleans for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
The pair recently sold a home they purchased in New Orleans' French Quarter for $4.9 million.
Their only other on-screen role together is in 2015's "By the Sea," about a troubled American couple vacationing in France.
Pitt skipped the Sept. 28 premiere of the Terrence Malick's new documentary "Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience," which he narrated. In a statement, Pitt said he was skipping the premiere because he was currently focused on my family situation and don't want to distract attention away from this extraordinary film."
Pitt stars with Marion Cotillard in Robert Zemeckis' upcoming spy thriller "Allied."
Jolie Pitt earlier this year finished shooting her fourth feature as director, "First They Killed My Father." The film, about the 1970s Khmer Rouge regime, was shot in Cambodia.
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP