Brad Pitt And Angelina Jolie Release First Joint Statement

It's been over two months now since Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's split made headlines around the world, with dust beginning to settle on the acrimonious break-up.

Now, in their first joint statement since news broke of the split, the former couple have announced that they will now handle their divorce in private.

'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 joint statement reads.

'The parents are committed to act as a united front to effectuate recovery and reunification.'

In December, Brad requested that documents concerning his impending divorce from Angelina would be kept sealed, to ensure that any future details regarding his custody battle would be kept out of the public domain.

'I am extremely concerned that if court records regarding custody are not sealed, information contained therein will cause irreparable damage to our children's privacy rights' he wrote in a declaration.

However, this request was initially denied by a Los Angeles judge at an emergency hearing - although Judge Richard Burdge specified that requests to seal specific documents would be considered, as all six children involved are minors.

'The court recognises privacy rights of minor children and would be guided by what's in the minor children's best interest,' he said.

FBI investigation

Prior to this, it was announced that Brad will not face any charges after an FBI investigation into allegations surrounding an incident with one of his children on a private plane.

'In response to allegations made following a flight within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States which landed in Los Angeles carrying Mr. Brad Pitt and his children, the FBI has conducted a review of the circumstances and will not pursue further investigation,' said Laura Eimiller, a representative of the FBI's Los Angeles office, adding that 'no charges have been filed in this matter.'

Angelina released a statement after The Department of Children and Family Services also cleared her former partner of child abuse.

The actress' rep told TMZ: '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 8-week involvement the DCFS is now satisfied the safeguards are put in place that will allow the children to heal.'

A representative for the actress revealed just days before that Angelina will continue to retain sole custody of her six children with Brad, in an agreement reached by the former couple.

Brad will continue to have 'therapeutic visits' with the children. He also broke his silence on the split at the premiere for his war drama Allied, thanking fans for their 'support. 'It's really sweet, everyone has been really kind out here,' he told E! news. 'It's really nice to have all the support.'

Custody disagreement

Angelina's representative told People 'We can confirm that childcare professionals have encouraged a legal agreement accepted and signed by both sides over a week ago. In accordance with this agreement, the six children will stay in their mother’s custody, and the children will continue therapeutic visits with their father. This has been determined by childcare professionals to be in the children’s best interest.'

However, other sources close to the couple have claimed that this is only a temporary arrangement on the way to a permanent decision, as Brad will continue to seek joint custody of his six children with Angelina.

The news comes after the couple came to a temporary custody agreement last month. The former ruling saw Angelina having physical custody of all six children, while Brad was allowed visitation rights. His visits were monitored by a therapist, who then had the power to decide if they were safe to continue.

Brad was also subjected to random drugs and alcohol tests after claims that his substance abuse problems were one of the causes of the breakdown of the marriage.

Last month, Brad missed the premeire for his latest film, Voyage Of Time: Life's Journey to focus on his 'family situation,' but has since been on the promo trail for wartime drama Allied with co-star Marion Cotillard.

The divorce papers

Angelina filed for divorce from Brad in September, citing irreconcilable differences. The actress is asking for physical custody of the couple's six children, Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, Knox and Vivienne, and for Brad to receive visitation rights.

In an initial statement, the actress's attorney Robert Offer said, 'This decision was made for the health of the family. She will not be commenting, and asks that the family be given its privacy at this time.'

Speaking to People magazine, Brad said 'I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the well-being of our kids. I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time.'

Angelina is represented by Laura Wasser, the lawyer who advised Johnny Depp during his divorce from Amber Heard earlier this year. She is notasking for spousal support, and has listed the date of separation as 15 September 2016.

The couple met on the set of Mr and Mrs Smith, and have been together since 2004. They married in 2014.

Look back on Brad and Angelina's relationship in the gallery below...

Grazia magazine cover