Pitt reveals that he's been staying at his home in Hollywood Hills, California -- which he considers to be his kids' "childhood home" -- though admits he is lonely, aside from his beloved bulldog, Jacques. The actor says he and Jolie are currently working out a visitation plan for their six children -- 15-year-old Maddox, 13-year-old Pax, 12-year-old Zahara, 10-year-old Shiloh and 8-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox.
"I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called," Pitt says, though he was eventually cleared of all child abuse allegations last November. "And you know, after that, we've [he and Jolie] been able to work together to sort this out. We're both doing our best. I heard one lawyer say, 'No one wins in court -- it's just a matter of who gets hurt worse.' 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," he says. "And fortunately my partner in this agrees. It's just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart. If anyone can make sense of it, we have to with great care and delicacy, building everything around that."
"Our focus is that everyone come out stronger and better people -- there is no other outcome," he adds.
The Allied star says he doesn't want to "hate" Jolie, and calls his current journey "self-inflicted."
"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. I don't want to live that way."
Obviously, the split is a painful process for everyone involved.
"The first urge is to cling on," he admits about his feelings towards his family post-split. "And then you've got a cliche: 'If you love someone, set them free.' Now I know what it means, by feeling it. It means to love without ownership. It means expecting nothing in return."
Pitt says he's been able to get through the past six months by being "family first." He admits he's previously let work take him away from his children.
"Kids are so delicate," he explains. "They absorb everything. They need to have their hand held and things explained. They need to be listened to. When I get in that busy work mode, I'm not hearing. I want to be better at that."
Above all, the actor wants to be "more" for his children.
"I come from a place where, you know, it's strength if we get a bruise or cut or ailment [and] we don't discuss it," he shares. "We just deal with it. We just go on. The downside of that is it's the same with our emotions. I'm personally very retarded when it comes to taking inventory of my emotions. I'm much better at covering up."
"I grew up with a Father-knows-best/war mentality -- the father is all-powerful, super-strong -- instead of really knowing the man and his own self-doubt and struggles," he continues. "And it's hit me smack in the face with our divorce. I gotta be more. I gotta be more for them. I have to show them. And I haven't been great at it."
In January, Pitt and Jolie sent out a joint statement sharing that they've both signed agreements to keep all of their court documents private, and said that they were "committed to act as a united front to effectuate recovery and reunification."
Since then, the two appear to be amicable. "We will always be a family. Always," Jolie said when asked about Pitt during her appearance on Good Morning America in February.