Though the two have been engaged in a difficult custody battle over their six children since Jolie filed for divorce on Sept. 20, 2016, a source tells ET that the actress recently reached out to Pitt to improve their co-parenting relationship.
"Brad and Angelina actually set up a secret meeting at her house," the source says. "It’s the first time they have truly gotten together to make things work since their group therapy with the children. Brad and Angie’s meeting was a success. They are going to stay with the plan set forth through the courts."
“Angelina decided it was time to try to make things work and Brad was relieved and very ready for the offer," the source continues. "Brad has been dedicated to making peace throughout the process and now it finally seems like they are at a point where they can create a calmer situation for the kids."
Pitt and Jolie's court drama recently flared up again, after 43-year-old Jolie was ordered by a judge in June to help repair her children's relationship with Pitt. According to the court documents obtained by ET at the time, the actor was able to get more time with five of his children -- 14-year-old Pax, 13-year-old Zahara, 12-year-old Shiloh and 10-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne -- over the summer, while 16-year-old Maddox, "because of his age and maturity," was able to determine how much time he wanted to spend with his father.
In August, Jolie accused 54-year-old Pitt of not paying any "meaningful" child support for a year and a half in a court filing, and said she was planning to get a court order mandating that he pay it. Pitt's lawyers filed their response one day later, and in court papers obtained by ET, Pitt denied that he hasn't paid any significant child support and claimed that he'd paid Jolie over $9 million since their September 2016 split.
“Angelina created a very difficult situation for Brad and the children and she has finally realized her behavior backfired," our source says. "Angelina loves her kids very much and it seems like she felt threatened she might lose time with them and, in turn, she went on the attack. Unfortunately, everyone in the family has suffered."
“She started to see a change in the kids' behavior because they missed their dad," the source adds. "The kids' reaction to the divorce actually helped Angie try a different tact."
The source notes that the meeting between Jolie and Pitt was a "huge step" for the two.
"They both hope to continue to work together for the kids," the source says.
In August, Jolie's spokesperson, Mindy Nyby, told ET in a statement that the actress actually just wanted to move the divorce process forward with her court filing accusing Pitt of not paying any "meaningful" child support.
“The aim of Angelina’s routine court filing is to provide closure to the marriage in a way that clears a path toward the next stage of their lives and allows her and Brad to recommit as devoted co-parents to their children," the statement read.
However, a source later told ET that Pitt was "sickened" by his estranged wife and her legal team for letting their child custody battle play out in public.
“He wants this settled out of sight," the source said. “He knows this isn’t fair to the children. He’s saddened that they have to be a part of this [public fight].”
Of course, both Jolie and Pitt have talked about keeping their relationship amicable for the kids. Last May, Pitt broke his silence on their split and subsequent custody battle to GQ Style.
"I heard one lawyer say, 'No one wins in court -- it’s just a matter of who gets hurt worse,'" he said. "And it seems to be true. You spend a year just focused on building a case to prove your point and why you're right and why they're wrong, and it's just an investment in vitriolic hatred. I just refuse. And fortunately my partner in this agrees."
"I see it happen to friends -- I see where the one spouse literally can’t tell their own part in it, and is still competing with the other in some way and wants to destroy them and needs vindication by destruction, and just wasting years on that hatred," he continued. "I don’t want to live that way."