Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have been in the process of divorcing for more than two and a half years, but it seems like things might be beginning to wrap up. People reported on Saturday (April 13) that the two are officially single again. However, there’s a twist—and it’s pretty important.
A judge has now ruled that the two can be considered single in the eyes of the law. The term for this is called “bifurcation,” and The Blast, which first broke the report, writes that the ruling in their case was filed Friday, April 12. What bifurcation does is allow them to keep hammering out the final details of their divorce while otherwise basically ending the marriage. So they’re single, but not quite yet divorced-divorced—and it’s a way to start getting some emotional distance as the process wraps up, too.
“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,'” Pitt told GQ in 2017. “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. It’s just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart.”
Jolie filed for divorce in September 2016, about two years after the two had married in France, citing “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for separation and asking for custody of their six children. The divorce has definitely dragged on—mostly, reports People, due to conversations about finances and custody, and it’s still not finalized yet. But hey, it’s one step closer to closure.