Over the past several months, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck have made Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna look like a normal, stable couple.
The actor and actress have gone back and forth more often than a tennis ball in a five-set match full of long rallies.
On Thursday afternoon, however, Garner finally made the dissolution of her marriage official: she filed for divorce.
Just as their slow, long-simmering split has seemingly been, the filing was as amicable as can be; neither Affleck nor Garner are planning to use an attorney.
According to TMZ, Garner’s petition and Affleck’s response mirror each other in every single way, meaning they were filed together in a coordinated effort by the ex-couple.
Both celebrities are seeking joint and legal custody of their three children, with the issue of spousal support being left open.
No date of separation is listed on these divorce documents, but the stars announced they had (unofficially) split way back in June of 2015.
What took them so long to make the break-up nice and legal?
Rumored second thoughts on Garner’s part, as various reports last year indicated that she and Affleck were back together.
Neither of the former lovers ever talked openly about their relationship in the press, but they continued to take family vacations together.
With fans looking on from afar, unsure what to make of what they were seeing, Ben and Jen attended marriage counseling… took their kids to Disney Land one time… and even made frequent Sunday trips to church and the farmers’ market as a family.
There was talk in October that Affleck was even moving back in with Garner.
Alas, it now appear as if reconciliation chatter was just that: chatter.
In reality, the stars have remained on friendly terms. But a renewed romance was never in the cards.
“They always planned to divorce despite what people said,” a source told People Magazine last night, adding:
“If you look at their first statement it says divorce not separate. They just did it the way they wanted to and did what was best for their kids.
“There was no catalyst, it was just time. Nothing has changed, they are and still will be putting their kids first.”
Affleck and Garner broke off their 10-year marriage on June 30, 2015, releasing the following statement at the time:
“After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce. We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children whose privacy we ask to be respected during this difficult time. T
his will be our only comment on this private, family matter. Thank you for understanding.”
There were subsequent rumors that Affleck’s hard-partying ways were to blame for the couple’s problems.
There was even a pretty strong rumor that he slept with the family nanny, although it appears as if that banging took place post-separation. (But still wasn’t Ben’s best move, really.)
The stars have three kids together: Violet, 11, Seraphina, 8, and Samuel, almost 5.
They have made it clear that they plan on continuing to co-parent, no matter what problems existed between them as a married couple.
Affleck, who recently completed a stint in rehab for alcohol abuse, referred to Garner as the “world’s greatest mom” at a TimesTalk in New York in mid-December; also saying that the births of their children were the most defining moments of his life.
“It’s a joy to hang out with them,” he added. “I think the meaning of life is to make good people.”
Adds a separate People insider:
“Ben is spending special time with all the kids separately. He seems very happy. The mood in general seems very upbeat. The kids are thrilled that he is back [in their lives].”
There was no prenuptial agreement between Garner and Affleck and it appears as if the case will be handled by a mediator, as opposed to a judge.
It may take six months for the divorce to actually be finalized, but make no mistake:
This relationship is over. At last.