It sounds like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s co-parenting after family therapy is shaping up to be a success, and if that isn’t good news, I don’t know what else is. In a time where dozens of celebrity couples seem to be calling it quits, we’re happy to hear that these former flames are finding their way back into each other’s lives—even if only as happy parents.
Angelina, 45, and Brad, 56, share six children: Maddox, 18, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 14, Knox, 12, and Vivienne, 12. As if having such a big brood didn’t already pose its own unique set of parenting problems, things took a turn for the worse once the Hollywood actors got divorced. Angelina and Brad called it quits in 2016, although their divorce has still yet to be officially finalized. And that may be in large part due to the messy child-custody battle that they tackled for a couple of years. It wasn’t until 2018 that the separated parents finally reached an agreement in order to “eliminate the need for a trial,” a source told Us Weekly at the time.
Now, it seems like that custody agreement is finally starting to work out for the family. A source tells PEOPLE, “They definitely needed help figuring out all the child-custody issues and how Brad could be a dad again.” But now that “the kids are older now, they are no longer dealing with separation issues from Angie.”
The source adds, “It’s taken them a long time, with a lot of family therapy, to get to this point.” It all seems to have paid off, though, as things are definitely “happier” and Brad and Angie’s friendship is on the mend.
“The younger kids go back and forth between their houses,” PEOPLE‘s source explains, “and Brad loves spending as much time with them as possible. He seems much happier.” This happy outcome seems like a stark contrast to how things were between the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil stars. The pair struggled and “fought a lot over the years and disagreed about many things,” a source told Us Weekly when they separated in 2016.
Things have been looking up for the couple ever since earlier this year, however. In May, a source told Us that “things between Brad and Angelina are better than they have been. They’re more cordial—they’re aiming toward resolutions that work for each of them.” A separate source added that Angelina is apparently “impressed with Brad’s continued sobriety.” Growth—you love to hear it!
Brad has dealt with issues of alcoholism in the past. The actor has reportedly since sought treatment, but not before his alleged drinking problem damaged his relationship with his eldest son, Maddox, who he continues to have a strained relationship with to this day. According to multiple reports, the actor and his son had an alleged altercation a private flight home from France in 2016. Four years later, Angelina told Vogue that she ended her marriage for the “well-being” of her children in the wake of this incident.