Brad Pitt seeks joint custody of their six children in divorce from Angelina Jolie

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Brad Pitt is asking a judge to grant him joint custody of his six children in his split from Angelina Jolie, according to a divorce filing Friday.

The actor's request was included in his response to Angelina's petition in September to end their two-year marriage. The actress sought sole physical custody of their six children, who range in age from eight to 15.

Custody has been the major issue in the break-up so far, with authorities investigating Brad over what happened during a dispute on a private flight with his family in mid-September.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (Justin Tallis/PA Wire/PA Images)

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 favour awarding joint custody. The actors could also reach a private agreement that would not involve a public custody fight in court.

Brad's filing does not include any new details about the couple's break-up. The actor cited irreconcilable differences and makes no mention of a prenuptial agreement that will govern how the pair divides their assets.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have six children (Shizuo Kambayashi/AP/PA Images)

He also cites September 15 as the day of their separation, one day after the alleged plane altercation between himself and his 15-year-old son, Maddox.

Brad, 52, 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.

Maddox, Angelina and Brad
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt with their son Maddox in 2013 (John Shearer/AP/PA Images)

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 funnelled many of the millions they made selling personal pictures to celebrity magazines.

Angelina, 41, 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. Brad built homes in New Orleans for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (Charles Sykes/AP/PA Images)

The pair recently sold a home they purchased in New Orleans' French Quarter for $4.9 million (£3.9 million).

Their only other on-screen role together is in 2015´s By the Sea, about a troubled American couple vacationing in France.