The intensity of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s bitter divorce has been ratcheted up a notch after he hit back at his estranged wife’s claim that he has failed to pay “meaningful” child support since they split nearly two years ago.

Pitt’s retort comes after Jolie asserted that she wants their divorce finalised by the end of 2018, also claiming that he had failed to support their six children in any substantial way since they announced their split in September 2016.

On Wednesday (August 8th), his legal team responded by saying that Pitt had in fact paid more than $1.3 million in costs and had loaned Jolie around $8 million to help her buy her new house.

Pitt’s attorneys called Jolie’s claims “a thinly-veiled effort to manipulate media coverage.” In turn, lawyers for Jolie said that her ex’s counter-claims were “a blatant attempt to obfuscate the truth.”

Angelina Jolie Brad PittAngelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's custody row goes on

Originally on Tuesday, Jolie’s spokeswoman said her filing was intended to provide closure to their marriage “and allow her and Brad to recommit as devoted co-parents to their children.”

More: Angelina Jolie might lose custody of children if she doesn’t allow Brad Pitt access

However, those court documents also claimed that Pitt “has a statutory duty to pay child support. As of present, [he] has paid no meaningful child support since separation… Given that the informal arrangements around the payment of the children's expenses have not been regularly sustained... for over a year and a half, [Jolie] intends to file... for the establishment of a retroactive child support order.”

Pitt and Jolie met in 2005, and enjoyed a ten-year romance as well as a two-year marriage. They have six children together – Maddox (16), Pax (14), Zahara (13), Shiloh (11) and nine year old twins Vivienne and Knox.

The divorce filing, made nearly two years ago, citing “irreconcilable differences” leading to the breakdown of the marriage, and triggered the current bitter custody dispute that at one point saw Pitt investigated and subsequently cleared of child abuse after allegedly losing his temper in front of them on a transatlantic flight.

More: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt reportedly at loggerheads over their children’s film careers