American actor, Brad Pitt has been granted joint custody of his children with Angelina Jolie following a lengthy court battle.

Ms Jolie filed for divorce in 2016 and the pair have since been engaged in a custody battle largely shielded from public view.

A private judge hired to oversee the case, John Ouderkirk, ruled in Mr Pitt’s favour.

The ruling would “significantly increase” his time with the children, a source told the Press Association.

Mr Pitt, 57, and Ms Jolie, 45, are parents to Pax, 17, Zahara, 16, Shiloh, 14 and 12-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox.

The oldest, 19-year-old Maddox, is not subject to the custody decision.

According to page six website, the ruling was a “tentative decision” and Ms Jolie is continuing her legal fight.

Ms Jolie had not objected to joint custody but there were “other issues of concern”, it reported.

The trial lasted for several months and there were a large number of witnesses, experts and therapists, another source said.

Ms Jolie has criticised the judge’s decision not to allow their children to testify in custody hearings.