Jennifer Garner Files to Speed Up Her Divorce From Ben Affleck
By Antoinette Bueno
Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Jennifer Garner is ready to be officially divorced from her estranged husband, Ben Affleck.
According to court documents obtained by ET, the 46-year-old actress is asking the judge in her divorce case to take the case out of the court system so it can be handled by a private judge. A private judge will be able to accelerate the process and settle the case much quicker than if it remains in the court system.
The docs are ordering the stipulation and appointment of a temporary judge to take over the divorce case. Judge Robert Schneider, who is a retired judge, will be taking over the case. He will be appointed for the limited purpose of reviewing and entering Affleck and Garner's Judgement of Dissolution of Marriage.
The former couple announced their separation in 2015 and filed for divorce last April. Affleck and Garner -- who don't have a prenup -- filed "pro per," without legal representation, and filed both the petition and response, which mirror each other exactly, together.
The pair sought joint legal and physical custody of their three children -- Violet, 12, Seraphina, 9, and Samuel, 6 -- but did not specify anything about spousal support.
"The divorce filing was only a matter of time," a source told ET at the time. "Ben and Jen are both still 100 percent committed to co-parenting their children and making sure their family situation works for them all. You can't have anything better than that."
ET learned that the former couple had settled the details of their divorce case in August. A judgement was filed Aug. 9, however, a judge had not signed off on the judgement, meaning they're still technically married.
Garner drove Affleck to rehab on Aug. 22. A source told ET on Wednesday that the 46-year-old actor is now back home and preparing for a new movie role after completing over a month in rehab at a facility in Malibu. However, he continues to receive treatment and focus on his sobriety.
“Ben will stay in treatment for the foreseeable future," the source said. "He’ll continue to work with a sober coach, attend therapy and meditation classes. He is committed to his sobriety and is focused on his family and getting back to work.”
"A big concern by Ben's friends is his decision to keep seeing Shauna," the source said. "They're still very much together and Ben talks to her every day, and sees her most days ... Jen is treading very lightly and trying to express her concerns."
"It's very hard for anyone who is close to Ben to trust Shauna because they don't know her and she seemed to come out of nowhere," the source continued. "The one thing everyone knows is Shauna is not sober, she is incredibly young, and she came into Ben's life at his lowest point. They wish that Ben would hold off on a relationship for now."