Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Sometimes these things just take a while.
Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are officially divorced, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge having signed off on the paperwork this week, nearly three years after the singers first split up, E! News confirmed Wednesday.
The split was finalized for all intents and purposes in March, but due to court backlog the duo's final judgment package was not entered into the system until now.
The global superstars announced in July 2011 that they were calling it quits after seven years of marriage, saying in a joint statement at the time, "This was a very difficult decision. We have come to an amicable conclusion on all matters."
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Lopez, 44, and Anthony, 45, tied the knot at home in Beverly Hills in June 2004. The parents of 6-year-old twins, Max and Emme, seem to have maintained a cordial relationship, with a source telling E! News that J.Lo sought advice from her ex before recently breaking up with dancer-choreographer Casper Smart.
Anthony filed for divorce on April 9, 2012, asking for joint legal and physical custody of the twins. Lopez requested the same when she filed a response in December 2013. She also filed paperwork to have her legal name be changed from Jennifer Muniz (Anthony's real surname) back to Jennifer Lopez.
It was the third marriage for Lopez, who was wed to chef Ojani Noa from 1997 to1998 and backup dancer Cris Judd from 2001 until 2003, and the second trip down the aisle for Anthony, who was married to former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres from 2000 until 2004.
It didn't take long for either star to find love again: Lopez began dating Smart in the spring of 2012, after Anthony had begun romancing model Shannon De Lima. The latter couple called it quits after a year of dating in January 2013, just before the "I Need to Know" singer wooed Topshop heiress and Made in Chelsea reality star Chloe Green. She and Anthony have since split up.
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Anthony was the first to open up about the end of his and Lopez's marriage, in an August 2011 Nightline interview. "I'll tell you that it wasn't something sensationalistic happening," he said. "It was a realization on both our parts. So, you know, it wasn't shocking. These things happen. It was a decision that we made jointly."
Even after they decided to pull the plug on their union, Lopez continued to work with her ex on the short-lived Univision talent competition Q'Viva! The Chosen. And like Anthony, she hasn't been shy about discussing her divorce with the press.
"Sometimes it doesn't work—and that's sad. But I remain an eternal optimist about love. I believe in love," she said in a September 2013 Vanity Fair cover story.
Anthony has said that he would like to get married again—when he find the right woman, that is.
"I believe in relationships. I believe that God has blessed me in so many ways," he said. "But when your house is empty and you don't have someone to invest in, if you don't have a witness, it's almost worthless."
Would Lopez ever walk down the aisle a fourth time? "We'll see," the American Idol judge said during a promo panel in January 2014. "I always believed in that institution. My parents were married for a very long time, for 35 years. I believe in it. It's difficult. I've had my challenges but at the same time I believe in love. That's the main thing."
—Reporting by Claudia Rosenbaum