After announcing their split in June 2015, Hollywood A-listers Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck are one step closer to having a finalized divorce after Garner filed paperwork to expedite the remaining steps. The move comes just as Affleck moves from inpatient to outpatient rehab for alcohol abuse.
According to Us Weekly, although Garner was in no rush to file the final paperwork in August, on Monday she filed a request with the Los Angeles County Superior Court to have her divorce pulled from the public court so that the case can be finalized more quickly by a private judge.
While no one knows exactly why Garner is accelerating proceedings again, it seems pretty clear that she was waiting for Affleck to work on his sobriety and addiction issues before making the split official and putting the agreed-upon parenting plan into effect.
“Jen wanted to give Ben the time and opportunity to work on his health and sobriety,” a source reportedly told Us Weekly earlier this summer. “She isn’t in a rush… Jen just isn’t willing to settle the custody issues until she’s 100 percent certain that he’s clean.”
In August, shortly after his break-up with Lindsay Shookus, Garner was seen going to Affleck’s home to help him get safely to rehab after a relapse with alcohol. At that time, the divorce proceedings were moving forward, albeit slowly.
Now, more than 40 days later, Affleck is out of inpatient rehab and made an announcement about his health and progress on Instagram.
“This week I completed a forty day stay at a treatment center for alcohol addiction and remain in outpatient care,” the all-text Instagram post reads. “The support I have received from my family, colleagues and fans means more to me than I can say. It’s given me the strength and support to speak about my illness with others.
“Battling any addiction is a lifelong and difficult struggle,” Affleck continues in the post. “Because of that, one is never really in or out of treatment. It is a full-time commitment. I am fighting for myself and my family. So many people have reached out on social media and spoken about their own journeys with addiction. To those people, I want to say thank you. Your strength is inspiring and is supporting me in ways I didn’t think was possible. It helps to know I am not alone. As I’ve had to remind myself, if you have a problem, getting help is a sign of courage, not weakness or failure.”
The couple announced their divorce just a day after their 10-year wedding anniversary, and both officially filed for divorce in 2017. At the time of their split, they released a joint statement that said, in part, “We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children.” Both have stuck closely to this plan during the process of their legal divorce. They will have joint physical and legal custody of their three children.