Brad Pitt has yet to respond to Angelina Jolie's divorce petition.
It's been a month since his wife of two years filed the dissolution of marriage
papers in court, citing irreconcilable differences, and now, ET has learned new details on why the Allied
star hasn't filed an official response.
A source familiar with the Pitt-Jolie situation tells ET that Pitt does want joint physical and legal custody of their six children -- Maddox, 15, Shiloh, 10, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 8.
He hasn't filed a response to Jolie's divorce petition, however, because he wants to "settle this privately like he has from the beginning,” the source confirms.
The source also tells ET that Pitt is trying to avoid filing dueling docs, because that would not only make for a nasty public custody battle, but it could also be harmful to their kids.
"Pitt was not the one to go public with anything in the first place," the source added.
In California, a spouse served with divorce papers ordinarily has 30 days to respond. If Pitt and Jolie are working out the terms privately
, however, the actor technically does not need to file a response.
As ET previously reported, Jolie and Pitt agreed to a temporary custody deal
last month. After the Department of Children and Family Services made its recommendations, Jolie and Pitt came to a temporary agreement that lasted until Oct. 20, a source familiar with the deal told ET at the time. The agreement was a voluntary DCFS safety plan -- also known as a structured decision making (SDM) safety plan -- which is standard practice in any ongoing child welfare investigation.
Pitt and Jolie both volunteered to participate in individual counseling. According to sources, Pitt also agreed to undergo drug and alcohol testing
, though he was not required to.
On Wednesday, ET confirmed that Pitt reunited with his eldest son, Maddox, for the first time since the private jet incident
that occurred just a few days before Jolie filed for divorce. The meeting was supervised by a therapist.
A source previously told ET that reports of child abuse
by Pitt were "exaggerated or untrue," and there was "no inappropriate physical contact" between the actor and his son.
Hear more in the video below.
-Additional reporting by Carolyn Greenspan