Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner officially file for divorce

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Anna Brech

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck filed petitions for divorce in a Los Angeles court on Thursday, nearly two years after they announced their separation.

The couple, who have three children aged between five and 11 together, cited irreconcilable differences in their separate but near-identical applications.

They sought joint custody of their kids Violet, Seraphina and Sam.

The pair called time on their 10-year marriage in June 2015, releasing a statement where they pledged to “go forward with love and friendship for one another”.


Pictured together at the beginning of their relationship, in 2003

Pictured together at the beginning of their relationship, in 2003

Garner later gave a candid interview to Vanity Fair, where she defended her feelings for Affleck amid rumours of his alleged infidelities. 

“He's the love of my life,” she said. “What am I going to do about that? He's the most brilliant person in any room, the most charismatic, the most generous. He's just a complicated guy. I always say, 'When his sun shines on you, you feel it.' But when the sun is shining elsewhere, it's cold. He can cast quite a shadow.

“I didn't marry the big fat movie star; I married him,” she continued. “And I would go back and remake that decision. I ran down the beach to him, and I would again. You can't have these three babies and so much of what we had.”

Addressing the fact that he was reported to have been unfaithful during their marriage, the Alias star added: “People have pain— they do regrettable things, they feel shame, and shame equals pain. No one needs to hate him for me. I don’t hate him. Certainly we don’t have to beat the guy up. Don’t worry — my eyes were wide open during the marriage.”

She dismissed rumours that Affleck’s relationship with their children’s nanny had led to their split, saying: “We had been separated for months before I ever heard about the nanny. She had nothing to do with our decision to divorce. She was not a part of the equation.

“Bad judgment? Yes. It’s not great for your kids for [a nanny] to disappear from their lives.”

The 44-year-old said the focus for both her and Affleck was their children: “We’re completely in line with what we hope for them. Sure, I lost the dream of dancing with my husband at my daughter’s wedding. But you should see their faces when he walks through the door. And if you see your kids love someone so purely and wholly, then you’re going to be friends with that person.”

At an Oscars party in 2013

At an Oscars party in 2013

Last month, Affleck revealed that he had completed treatment for alcohol addiction and, in a public statement, thanked his “co-parent” Garner for supporting him through rehab.

“I'm lucky to have the love of my family and friends, including my co-parent, Jen [Jennifer Garner], who has supported me and cared for our kids as I've done the work I set out to do,” the 44-year-old Oscar winner wrote on Facebook.

“This was the first of many steps being taken towards a positive recovery.”

The former couple remain friends and continued to live together for a while following their separation. They also share family holidays together.

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.

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