According to court documents obtained by ET and filed on Wednesday, the estranged couple are requesting an extension for the appointment of a private temporary judge, Honorable John Ouderkirk.
A custody trial regarding the couple’s six children was scheduled to begin, in private and presided over by Ouderkirk, on Dec. 4, with Ouderkirk working with the couple on reaching custody settlements until June 30, 2019.
However, with the approval of this latest court order, Ouderkirk is authorized to preside over their negotiations and custody hearings until Dec. 31, 2019, allowing additional time for both parties to work on reaching agreements before any formal judgement is rendered.
Notably, Ouderkirk has a history with the pair, having officiated the couple’s wedding at Chateau Miraval, their estate in France, in August 2014.
It was agreed upon by both Pitt and Jolie earlier this year that the retired Los Angeles Superior Court judge would hear and determine all pretrial issues, requests and motions in their case, as well as the trial itself.
As previously reported, Pitt, 54, and Jolie, 43, may be able to appear at the trial — which likely will be held in private and not necessarily in a courtroom — via telephone, at the judge’s discretion, according to court papers obtained at the time.
News broke in September 2016 that Jolie had filed for divorce from Pitt after two years of marriage. Jolie cited irreconcilable differences in her filing, and an attorney for the actress, Robert Offer, told the Associated Press that the decision was made “for the health of the family.”
She also asked for physical custody of their six children, but Pitt responded to Jolie’s divorce petition, asking for joint legal and physical custody of the children in his filing, the following November.
A tense custody battle has ensued and in August, a source close to the situation told ET at the time that the two had reached an interim agreement. A second source told ET that an interim agreement had been in place for a while, and a more permanent deal was yet to be decided.
See more on the couple’s long journey to divorce below.