Why Is Angelina Jolie Asking for Physical Custody in Brad Pitt Split? Divorce Lawyer Explains

As the world now knows, Angelina Jolie Pitt is divorcing Brad Pitt after two years of marriage — and she wants their six kids to have separation from him too. The Maleficent actress, 41, has requested physical custody. Find out more details of their split in the video above.

Angelina Jolie hugs Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt (L) and Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt (R) after winning award for Favorite Villain in 'Maleficent' during Nickelodeon's 28th Annual Kids' Choice Awards held at The Forum on March 28, 2015 in Inglewood, California.
Angelina Jolie hugs Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt (L) and Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt (R) after winning award for Favorite Villain in 'Maleficent' during Nickelodeon's 28th Annual Kids' Choice Awards held at The Forum on March 28, 2015 in Inglewood, California. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The couple, who met on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith in 2004, are parents of Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 8. 

Divorce attorney Alexander Orlofsky tells Us Weekly that a parent will seek physical custody for a multitude of reasons such as physical abuse or if one spouse has a new partner that the other doesn’t approve of. “She will argue the children are better off with her and a judge will make a decision after listening to the kids,” says the Miami Beach–based lawyer. “It’s highly unusual to get this granted unless there is some major reason.”

Brad Pitt, Maddox Jolie-Pitt, Pax Jolie-Pitt and Angelina Jolie attend the World Premiere of 'World War Z' at The Empire Cinema Leicester Square on June 2, 2013 in London, England.
Brad Pitt, Maddox Jolie-Pitt, Pax Jolie-Pitt and Angelina Jolie Pitt attend the world premiere of 'World War Z' at the Empire Cinema Leicester Square on June 2, 2013, in London. Dave M. Benett/WireImage for Paramount

According to Orlofsky, the older children, including Maddox, will be asked to tell the judge where they want to live.

A source told Us Weekly that Pitt, 52, and Jolie Pitt clashed over parenting methods. “They came so close to this before,” the insider told Us. “They fought a lot of over the years and disagreed about many things.” Relive their romance in the video below.

In the end, Jolie Pitt was concerned about how their tension was affecting the family. “She did try to make it work, but her kids come first and she couldn’t let them see mommy and daddy like this,” the source told Us. “The fighting got worse and they disagreed a lot about parenting a lot of things.”

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie attend a private reception as costumes and props from Disney's
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Pitt attend a private reception as costumes and props from Disney's 'Maleficent' are exhibited in support of Great Ormond Street Hospital at Kensington Palace on May 8, 2014, in London. Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images

The By the Sea director filed documents on Monday, September 19, citing irreconcilable differences, TMZ reported. 

Jolie Pitt’s attorney, Robert Offer, told Us that the Oscar winner filed for the dissolution of their marriage “for the health of the family.” 

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