Jennifer Garner & Ben Affleck’s divorce may be dismissed for lack of follow through

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I never would have seen this story if I didn’t specifically search for it. It came out on Friday and wasn’t picked up by the major outlets until the afternoon, which is where stories go to die. Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck are usually quite good at letting us know how well they’re coparenting and we’ve heard variations of the same narrative about them for years. So this is something that they don’t want as much publicity for – their divorce could be thrown out because the final paperwork has not been filed. The judge issued them a warning to finalize it or risk having the divorce dismissed.

The Superior Court of Los Angeles county filed Garner and Affleck a notice outlining the necessary steps for their divorce to be finalized, according to court papers obtained by The Blast. Supervising Judge Thomas Lewis also said the court “may dismiss” the case “for delay in prosecution” if they fail to provide the necessary documents.

However, a source tells PEOPLE the former couple is taking their time with the divorce as they navigate the best path for them and their three kids — daughters Violet, 12, and Seraphina, 9, and son Samuel, 6.

“There is no rush here,” the source says. “They continue to figure out ways of working together as a family and this is what works for them. They are doing what’s best for their family.”

[From People]

This isn’t about their kids, it’s about one or both of them dragging their feet. If it was about a property settlement or child custody arrangement they could simply bifurcate the divorce, which means to get legally divorced first and then settle that other issue later. I know about this because other celebrities have done it. This is more ambivalence from both of them, which we saw play out in the press for over three years. The nanny scandal was three years ago. I just re-read some of my “are they or aren’t they” coverage before they finally filed for divorce in April, 2017. It was exhausting to just review it and this is more of the same.

There are photos of Garner leaving Affleck’s house on Friday. He looks like he’s lost weight.

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Photos credit: Avalon/Zuma, Backgrid and Getty

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66 Responses to “Jennifer Garner & Ben Affleck’s divorce may be dismissed for lack of follow through”

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  1. Sarah says:

    I wonder why one of them is dragging their feet. truly, a mystery for the ages ^^

  2. Rapunzel says:

    They will end up back together. Just watch. Jennifer doesn’t want to let him go. And he’s too messed up to fight.

  3. Esmom says:

    I don’t know, I guess I can imagine that if things are running smoothly then finalizing stuff gets shoved to the back burner? Although you’d think they’d be ready to officially move on.

    In any case, she looks fantastic.

  4. Scarlett says:

    As someone the same age as Garner, can I just say it is absolutely refreshing to see ever single line on her face, thankfully she is not one of those Hollywood stars botoxed to the max.

    She looks wonderful!

  5. Peg says:

    Maybe Ben is not ready to get married again, and if he is not divorce, he can’t get married.

    • Original T.C. says:

      I don’t see him getting married again but the article doesn’t say which party is saying no to the divorce. If both parties filed for divorce 3years ago and have made no moves to finalize it then just unfile and have an open marriage. The courts can move on with other people who want to divorce. I hate Ben Affleck but compared to Brad Pitt he looks like father of the year to as least stay close to his children and never badmouth Jen G.

    • Iknow says:

      Ben strikes me as a guy who wants to be seen as doing the right thing. Even though he is incapable of it. He know that Lindsay will have expectations of him if/when the divorce is final and he knows he doesn’t want to be married. How to avoid that, drag your feet with the divorce and tell Lindsay that they can’t marry because the divorce isn’t final.

  6. Darla says:

    Whatever! Still #goals compared to brange divorce

  7. Ash says:

    Some have always known how this will play out and called it back in 2015 when they initially split: this divorce will never be finalized. When it comes to Ben Affleck, Jen Garner has proven herself to be in bunny boiling territory–if she can’t have him, no one will. Doesn’t matter what he does to her, how much he’s humiliated her, or how many girlfriends he lives with and parades for all to see: she’s never truly divorcing him and moving on with someone else. She is forever his doormat and forever his ashes.

  8. lauren says:

    Jen’s recent comments about the tabloid pressure to “do something” were the giveaway: she was cheated on and humiliated, so she “separated” from Ben and eventually filed for divorce even though she never wanted to any of that. The divorce will be dismissed legally and probably never re-filed. It seems like Jen’s content to remain married to him regardless of any girlfriends that are in the picture. Ben gets to have his cake and eat it too, so of course he’ll go along with it.

    • Sarah says:

      She was not just cheated on , she was VERY publically cheated on, that’s why she had to do this separation farce.
      Lindsay predates the nanny by a few years and Jen definitely knew about her but she did not do anything because it was somewhat discreet. But once Nanny Chrissy was parading all over LA, selling bikini pics and getting police escorts to the gaz station (lol), Jen G could not save face and that’s why she agreed to the separation.
      I’m sure these two would still be together, doing pap-walks to the Farmers’ Market if it was not for the nanny.
      And of course, Ben is happy and not doing anything to move the divorce along.

      • Dora says:

        Nanny Chrissy was parading all over LA in August 2015 after the announcement of their separation in June. Maybe Ben A told her that she will be his official girlfriend and when he changed his mind she took the situation on her hands. Maybe Chrissy knew about his other girlfriend /s and she wanted to win the prize after his separation with JG. Total mess. As for JG, I don’t think she wants him back, I think it’s all about the kids and their protection from their addict father.

  9. Carolnr says:

    If you remember though, a source also said that there wasn’t any rush with Ben moving out of the guest house & within that month, moving vans were spotted at the house.
    Ben’s birthday is Wednesday. Maybe they were making plans FOR THEIR CHILDREN….

  10. clarice says:

    Why is she so pathetic? Maybe it would be one thing if he hadn’t gone public with his old mistress and then started living with her, which humiliated Jen to the max. But he DID that. Why hasn’t Jen divorced this person yet? I agree w/ Kaiser — there is no good excuse (finances, custody) for it to be at the stage that the court wants to dismiss it. Ben is a selfish, narcissistic S.O.B. who doesn’t want to lose half his net worth, he is clearly not checking for Jen romantically, so what in the fresh hell is she hanging onto? This woman lives in the past.

    • Alison says:

      I think she didn’t ever fall out of love with him. He is, after all the father of all three of her children. He has addiction issues and I’m wiling to bet she put forth an ultimatum. Although I personally could not get past infidelity, a lot of couples do.

  11. Who ARE These People? says:

    It struck me that within a few years, they will both turn 50.

  12. amber says:

    Jen’s idol seems to be Maria Shriver, who is still legally married to Arnold despite his many affairs, a child born to the maid and a longterm public girlfriend. Enough said. I think Jen is just hoping that people forget about the nanny, Shookus, and the divorce filing.

  13. VegasSchmegas says:

    She just can’t quit that Phoenix tattoo…

    Who could?

  14. Carolnr says:

    I think if Ben really really wanted to marry Lindsay, he would make this divorce happen yesterday! Ben did want he wanted before he & Jen separated & why would that change now? Lindsay has been waiting for years & probably will not finalize her divorce until Ben finalizes his divorce.. IMO, I dont think Ben wants to marry Lindsay. I think he likes the way things are now…..

  15. tracking says:

    I don’t buy the bunny boiler narrative. I think it’s always been about the kids and the question of Ben’s sobriety, which is far from settled even if he seems to be doing better these days. Neither feels the urge to bifurcate because neither cares about being technically single again, but formalizing child custody is the big question. The status quo favors Jennifer because she remains in control of the kids, no matter what’s going on with Ben. She’s in no rush to give that up, and Ben is willing to let her take the lead on everything having to do with the kids (as she always has).

    • tara says:

      I don’t buy that it’s custody because it won’t matter what kind of custody he gets, those kids will be with Jen 95% of the time because he isn’t interested in parenting. She’s also not going to keep them from him even if he only gets limited visitation. So legal custody doesn’t matter. Also, as Kaiser pointed out, bifurcation exists specifically for people who haven’t been able to settle matters in a timely fashion. Someone is clinging to their married status and it’s not the guy who has moved out and is publicly living with his girlfriend. She’s a bunny boiler and it’s SAD.

      • stacey says:

        Totally agree. He will never be the one carrying the parenting responsibility- even during his custody time. She either shows up (flying across the ocean to Hawaii for example to get between him and his girlfriend – i mean bring the kids to him for easter ;-) or he has a nanny present. He does not want to do the heavy lifting of parenting.

        I think he lets Jen think he is stalling and he also lets Jen play the whole “i only do this for the kids, not him” BS but really it seems like he just tries to keep her off his back and still make her shoulder the parenting responsibility and she is pathetic enough to accomodate his every need – including sleeping with other women.

    • Mia4s says:

      Affleck’s sobrity will be an issue forever. People can be stable and sober for years before a relapse.She needs to draw up a custody agreement accordingly and get on with it.

      If it is “about the kids” she needs to think of the example she’s setting for her soon-to-be-teen daughters: “see girls; first you marry, and if he cheats repeatedly on you and has addiction issues, just keep having kids with him so he won’t leave. Then when he publicly humiliates you and moves in with his side piece and spends every spare moment with her…stay married! Cling girls! Just keep clinging!”

      This is getting ridiculous.

      • Jan90067 says:

        It’s not just her girls. It’s also her son, seeing how dad treats mom will/can be internalized that this is an okay way to treat women. And he sees that mom allows it. This is how misogynists are made. Boys learn from their dads, too.

    • Pandy says:

      I never thought of it as having some control wrt his sobriety … that’s a really good point. Eh. Other peoples’ lives lol.

  16. Amelie says:

    Ugh Jen, cut your losses and run! She may not think of it this way but when she got together with Ben and got knocked up less than a year into their relationship, her career took a huge nosedive once she decided to become a stay-at home mom and didn’t do much acting. I think it’s fine she did that though disappointing since her career was at an all time high with Alias on TV.

    I feel like she’s been working more since the separation and more visible which has been great. She looks a lot happier so I really don’t get why she wouldn’t want a speedy divorce. This has been dragging on for 3 years. It can’t be good for the kids either. I’ll be surprised if they finalize their divorce before the next election.

    • Dora says:

      Maybe this not divorce, nor marriage, is a convenient situation for both. They know what is best for them and their children. Maybe they have already a financial agreement and they don’t want to marry again anytime soon so the formal divorce is not important for them. BenA is a man with serious addictions and maybe during all the years of abusing his body and brain with poisons had bad consequences to his health. He seems sometimes to be a depressed man. He doesn’t seem to be in love with Shookus and if he was he could easily finished the divorce years ago. His career and his image seems to be above everything and he knows very well that Shook is destroying his image. As for JenG, the wellbeing of her children seems to be above all and she doesn’t want Shookus to be in their life or lost the solo custody which she seems to have now. Her children are so young, she must be very worried when they are with their addict father. Who knows, maybe after some days we will hear that the divorce has finished.

      • iris says:

        I can’t see how choosing to be handcuffed to a cheating drunk would be in Jen’s best interest or the kids’ best interests. It doesn’t send a good message to her kids, particularly her daughters. Money is not an issue. Property is not an issue. Codependency, unrequited love and low self-esteem ARE the issues.

  17. stacey says:

    I’m not so sure he is done with Jen…There are photos of her from this weekend that show her leaving Ben’s house with messed up hair and deordorant stains all over the bottom part of her black dress and his cheeks were flushed.

    She’s a slob but it really looked like they just hooked up and she had thrown her dress back on. I think there is something still going on between them which is why the divorce isn’t finished.

    We all know she wants him back and would take him back in a heart beat. I think she wants him to fight to get her back.

    I personally don’t think she is a strong woman for enduring Ben, I think she is the ultimate doormat. He has a girlfriend of several years and she would rather be a sisterwife with Lindsay than nothing at all Ben and it’s pretty sick.

  18. hannah says:

    IMO she’s been forecasting this from the beginning. First the Vanity Fair interview. Everyone remembers the ashes comment but I remember the part where she bizarrely begged people not to hate Ben. This was after the Shookus affair, too. Then she publicly announced that she hadn’t been on a single date and wasn’t planning on it despite her friends trying to set her up (because she’s saving herself for Ben). She also said publicly that she wouldn’t have chosen to be divorced. Finally all was confirmed when she recently said that the tabloids pressured her into taking action she didn’t want to. It’s pretty dang clear to me that she didn’t want to separate, file for divorce or have Ben move out. Now the divorce will be dismissed.

    She got a lot of cheers for claiming not to be his ashes but she totally IS and always will be. Bless her heart. He’s a lousy husband and partner and not even a decent father on his own. Why is Jen’s self-esteem so nonexistent?

    • JoJo says:

      Oh yeah, I never read that article the way most did. Sure, she got some subtle snark in there, but she needed to in order to try to save face about the nanny affair, etc. She name-dropped Ben way too many times in there. It was just so obvious that she wasn’t “done”, and in hindsight, we now know she wasn’t done. The actual filing didn’t happen until right after some major negative event took place during the 2016/2017 holiday season – and that was 1+ years after the VF article was published.

  19. katy says:

    Geez. Can’t say that I’m surprised though. Such a toxic, codependent relationship. When their daughters grow up and choose men like Affleck who cheat on them and abuse substances, and when the son grows up to be just like his dad, these two will know why. Children live what they learn.

  20. iris says:

    You know the fact that this got out (that it’s being dismissed) bothers Jen greatly. She knows she’ll lose so much face and look like a total fool when she takes him back. She’d like to delay it for as long as possible. Interesting that it came from The Blast and not TMZ, who usually does the legal stuff. Guess she didn’t pay off as many outlets as she thought she needed to.

  21. urs says:

    Unsurprising. I’m sure the divorce will be allowed to be dismissed and will never be re-filed unless Ben **publicly** screws up again and makes Jen look bad (that filing will be allowed to lapse as well). Lainey has been saying it for years: Jen will never, ever leave him. She’s sacrificed so much of her pride and dignity over the years and she probably thinks that she can wait out this relationship with Shookus and resurrect their status as a couple. Such a pity that all this time and energy is being wasted on Ben Affleck of all people.

  22. minx says:

    FFS divorce him, Jennifer. He’s not coming back.

  23. Loca says:

    I love Jennifer’s light makeup look. I need a tutorial on that. As far as their pending divorce you can always tell when Jenn’s PR issues a quote she overly stresses using the kids. Find you a good court monitor if she is that worried. What is contradictory is he has all these issues but I’ve never heard of any mistreatment of their children & why would she take him back since she feels he is not a qualified father figure. You can’t have it both ways. This has to do with Shookus and Ben and what can she really prevent if he does get married down the line you can’t stop your ex. Yes alot of women try this more often than you think. Its time for Jennifer to let her ex go and make peace for her life. I hope she wakes up.

  24. iconoclast59 says:

    For years now, whenever Ben is with Jen, he shows all the enthusiasm of someone going in for a root canal. Why on earth would Jen want to be with a guy who shows so little joy in being with her? I dunno’, maybe she thinks that it’s not a real relationship unless it’s work. Some people don’t want an equal partner; they get more satisfaction out of being the “rescuer,” or “Mommy/Daddy.” They only feel worthy if they’re running around fixing everything.

    Plus, I echo the other posters who point out how damaging this is to the kids. I’m the product of unhappily-married parents who stayed together. My love life has been a disaster because I had no role models to show me what a healthy, functional relationship looked like. By the time I figured it out, I was into middle age and my looks had gone pfft! Plus, all the good ones really ARE taken at this point! I wouldn’t wish my struggles on anyone, and it’s heartbreaking to think that the Affleck kids are destined for something similar.

  25. DesertReal says:

    I don’t know if he’s lost weight, but he has definitely lost muscle.

    But not wearing skintight t-shirts and tiny jackets are definitely an improvement.

  26. Isa says:

    Custody arrangements can be changed. She could take him back to court if needed so I don’t buy it.