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Teresa Giudice, Joe Giudice

Mike Coppola/Getty Images

There is something to be said about finally knowing one's fate.

Teresa Giudice and her husband of 14 years, Joe Giudice, were both sentenced Thursday to respective prison terms, a federal judge giving Joe 41 months behind bars for fraud and tax evasion charges and then handing his wife 15 months on the fraud counts.

U.S. District Judge Esther Salas ordered Teresa to surrender on Jan. 5, and Joe's sentence won't begin until she's home so that he can take care of their four daughters.

Teresa Giudice, Joe Giudice

Mike Coppola/Getty Images

The Real Housewives of New Jersey stars had pleaded guilty in March to bankruptcy fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and Joe copped to failing to report nearly $1 million in earnings between 2004 and 2008 to the IRS. Their plea deal stemmed from what was originally a 39- (and later 41-) count indictment that could have resulted in much more time behind bars should they have been convicted on all charges.

And as of now, the couple are trying to look at the bright side, according to their longtime legal crisis manager, Wendy Feldman.

"Sadly, today marks the end of one stage of our criminal justice system that is less than favorable to Teresa, Joe and their four children," Feldman exclusively tells E! News. "However, as with all people who go through this process, it is also the chance for a new beginning. Teresa, Joe and their children will reflect on what has happened, why it happened and what will happen next."

Giudice Lawyers Courtroom Sketch

Courtesy: Elizabeth Williams

In court this morning, before being sentenced, Joe admitted to having "disgraced many people, including my wife and four daughters. I take full responsibility for my actions. I promise to be a better person."

Teresa, who was sentenced several hours later, read from a letter in court: "I fully take responsibility for my actions. I deeply love my family...My four daughters are my life."

A sketch artist in court drew the emotional scene, Teresa and Joe both dabbing at their eyes with handkerchiefs while listening to the judge. She and Joe left the courthouse together this afternoon, looking drained and downcast but walking hand in hand.

Neither made any comment to the press, but they will be sitting down to talk about the sentencing for the first time this Monday with Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live: One-on-One With Teresa and Joe on Bravo at 9 p.m.

(E! Online and Bravo are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)

—Reporting by Beth Sobol

Teresa Giudice, Joe Giudice, Courtroom Sketch

Courtesy: Elizabeth Williams