Sometimes couples need a little time apart. During which they can decide that they want to be apart permanently.
Reese Witherspoon filed for divorce Wednesday from Ryan Phillippe after seven years of marriage. The fair-haired duo announced on Oct. 30 that they had separated.
Citing "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for the split, Witherspoon is asking for joint legal custody and primary physical custody of their two children, Ava, 7, and Deacon, 3, according to documents obtained by TMZ.com.
Witherspoon, who had neither scored an $8 million payday for Legally Blonde 2 nor won an Academy Award for Walk the Line when she and Phillippe tied the knot in 1999, also requested in her petition that the court block any requests from her estranged hubby for spousal support.
The actors didn't have a prenuptial agreement, so Phillippe, who's currently starring in Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers, is entitled to 50 percent of the couple's earnings during the course of their marriage.
Just as most celebrity breakups fail to qualify as jaw-dropping news, Reese 'n' Ryan's split didn't unduly shock, especially if you keep up with the tabloids.
What might have been an attempt by Witherspoon to level with the press back in 2002 inadvertently backfired: Speaking out about their trips to couples counseling immediately sparked rumors suggesting that Phillippe had been unfaithful and that her skyrocketing career was rocking the marital boat.
None of which was ever confirmed, but "irreconcilable differences" makes for a pretty boring headline, doesn't it?
“I’m not a perfect person, but I’m not guilty of a lot of the things I have been accused of," Phillippe said Wednesday in a statement to People. "My priority is and always has been the health and safety of my family."
Witherspoon's latest courtly action also comes a week after reaching an undisclosed settlement in her lawsuit against Star magazine, which published a story June 26 saying that the actress was toting a "baby bump" and was visibly pregnant beneath her baggy clothes.
The Oscar winner's camp stated that the "fictional story" was a "callous effort to boost the tabloid's sagging sales," adding that it was defamatory to suggest that Witherspoon was hiding her condition from producers she was planning to work with in the near future.