Alabama governor and wife of 50 years agree to divorce

The Alabama Governor’s office announced today the governor and his wife of 50 years have agreed to a divorce settlement, according to ABC News.

Governor Robert  Bentley and first lady Dianne filed for divorce four weeks ago, citing the marriage had suffered an “irretrievable breakdown”.

Governor Bentley said in a statement, “The last four weeks have been a very difficult time for my family and for our state. The people of Alabama have prayed for us and have encouraged us. For that, I am extremely grateful.  Today, Dianne and I have reached a mutual agreement in our proceedings. I have asked Judge Philip Lisenby to unseal settlement documents so the public and the media will have full access to it. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. I am truly blessed and deeply honored to serve as your governor.”

Mrs. Bentley asked for alimony, possession of their homes in Tuscaloosa and Fort Morgan, and division of other assets.

Although being separated since January, the couple continued to make public appearances, one as recently as one hour after the divorce papers were filed, appearing with college mascots in the capital city of Montgomery.

Bentley, who is a dermatologist, was attending medical school at the University of Alabama when the couple first met.  Mrs. Bentley has said that she worked in medical labs for $325 a month to assist him in completing his degree.

Mrs. Bentley has said she was never excited about being a politician’s wife, adding she was a shy person and uncomfortable with people and crowds.  But, she says, she had come to enjoy visiting the small towns throughout the state.  She often drove her husband to early campaign events because they could not afford a lot of staff members.

Governor and Mrs. Bentley, married in 1964,  celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in July.  The couple have four adult sons, with seven granddaughters and one grandson.

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