“Things are still strange and strained between them,” a source close to the family tells PEOPLE. “They are still working on issues that they can’t agree on. It seems their issues still involve the kids.”
Amid an investigation by L.A.’s Department of Children and Family Services — over an incident on the family’s private plane when Pitt was allegedly verbally abusive and physical with 15-year-old son Maddox — Jolie, 41, and Pitt, 52, have abided by a voluntary agreement involving counseling and visitation as recommended by the DFCS, which expires on Oct. 20.
While a source confirms to PEOPLE that “negotiations are steady and ongoing,” no real progress will be made until both parties receive feedback from the DFCS investigation.
For more on Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s ongoing divorce, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
So what happens next, after the temporary visitation agreement expires on Oct. 20? Los Angeles-based family law specialist Matthew K. Skarin says it depends on the findings from the DFCS investigation.
“DCFS could decide to investigate the issues further or, they will have made findings about whether or not there is any danger to the children and those findings will be taken into consideration by the family court,” he tells PEOPLE. “If the DCFS matter is kept open, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there have been any negative findings about either party. It could just mean that their investigation was inconclusive and they want to look into matters a little further. Assuming that there are no findings of any potential harm to any of the children, and DCFS is satisfied that the children are not in any danger with either of the parties, DCFS would then close their investigation.”
No matter the outcome, Skarin adds that prior to Oct. 20, the DFCS will have made recommendations for how Pitt and Jolie should proceed with a plan for visitation, pending further court orders.
“DCFS will likely make closing recommendations to maintain some level of status quo pending further orders from the family court,” he says.