Are Brad Pitt And Angelina Jolie Destined For A Long, Drawn-Out Custody Battle?

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When Brad Pitt asked for full joint legal and physical custody of his six kids with Angelina Jolie in a legal filing earlier this week, it might have opened up quite a legal battle between the divorcing couple! The 52-year-old actor and 41-year-old Jolie filed their respective legal petitions, with Jolie requesting sole custody, and Pitt checking off a box requesting joint custody — after initially choosing not to respond at all — and that one small check mark might just set off a BIG showdown. Related: Brad’s Child Abuse Investigation Now Involves The Entire Family! Divorce attorney Christopher Melcher, who does not represent Pitt or Jolie but is nevertheless very familiar with the process, opened up to People about where this could go in the future, and it sounds like the pair’s failure to see eye-to-eye on custody is not a good sign for the future. Melcher said: “[Angelina] checked a box for sole custody, he checked a box for joint custody. It’s basically just giving notice to the other party of what their intent is. It could mean is that settlement negotiations are maybe breaking down… or maybe she just insisted that he file a response [to the divorce]. If Brad is unhappy with the time Angelina is giving him with the kids, because she is really in control of that right now, then it’s on him to go to court and ask for a custody order.” So basically, this could all be nothing — but if reports about the controversial nature of the divorce itself are true to form, there’s a risk that this could blow up with the two sides becoming contentious over something as important as their beloved children. Now, a source close to Jolie has revealed that the kids are her sole focus, which we have seen now for the last couple months: “She’s cancelled everything else – work, everything. She’s been home each day, supporting them, helping them with homework, been there constantly. And no, this isn’t with a big staff of nannies and helpers.” Oh, and then there’s the ongoing child abuse investigation levied against Pitt which, even despite earlier reports about it being all smoke and little fire, is still ongoing right now in El Lay. Related: Brangelina’s Former Bodyguard Says He ‘Fathered’ Their Six Kids There no doubt will be some anger there on Pitt’s end, if the child abuse allegations are meritless — and that can only add to tension of the divorce and the custody arrangement from here! We’ll see how it all plays out, but above everything, we can only hope the transition period and legal wrangling is smooth and seamless for the kids above all — they are the ones who stand to be most affected by this, however it ends up. What do U think about all this, Perezcious readers? This might be a story we hear about for a long time to come… [Image via C.Smith/WENN.] PerezHilton