Divorce isn't something anyone wants or expects to happen when they walk down the aisle, but sometimes things just don't work out. And sometimes hopes for a speedy divorce don't work out either. Wonderwall.com is taking a look at some of the celebrity divorces that dragged on and on and on… starting with this couple… It's finally over after more than eight years of legal drama! "The Real Housewives of New York City" alum Bethenny Frankel delivered a bombshell in September 2020 during an appearance on "Watch What Happens Live" when she revealed that she was actually still married to ex Jason Hoppy. The former couple, whose relationship crumbled on reality television, split back in 2012 — but their bitter divorce continued to drag on and make headlines for years. "While Jason has been pushing for years to have the judge sign the divorce judgment, Bethenny's lawyers have objected," Jason's attorney said in 2019. Fans thought that Bethenny — who wed the pharmaceutical sales exec in 2010 and filed for divorce nearly three years later — was single again after they reached a financial settlement in July 2016 amid an ongoing custody battle over daughter Bryn. Nope. According to a March 2021 report from Page Six — which hit the same day People magazine confirmed that Bethenny was engaged to businessman Paul Bernon — a judge finally signed off on the divorce in January 2021.
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The modern-day gold standard for a drawn-out divorce has to be that of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver. After 25 years of marriage and a cheating scandal involving a secret child, Maria filed to divorce the former Governator in 2011. Guess where they are today? Yep, they're inexplicably still married and showing no signs of wrapping things up! They both have new significant others now and their kids are all adults, so there's no looming custody battle brewing; they also worked out an agreement years ago to divide their property. Money isn't an issue either. Yet for some reason, they're still married. Uh, congrats? Keep reading to see more celebrities whose divorces haven't exactly blazed through the court system at lightning speed…
Jesse Williams and Aryn Drake-Lee were married for five years, but it took them nearly three and a half years to finalize their divorce. It was messy, to say the least. After they split in early 2017, she accused him of having an "unhealthy temper" and a "revolving door" of women. He claimed she was the one who verbally abused him. When she asked for an increase in her child support payments (she was getting $50,000 a month), he labeled her demands "absurd and greedy, and in no way related to the children or their needs." A judge signed off on their divorce in October 2020 after the exes reached a settlement at long last.
Fans were shocked when Angelina Jolie filed to divorce Brad Pitt in September 2016 after nearly 12 years together and two years of marriage. But perhaps even more shocking is that the legal proceedings have dragged on and on: Two and a half years later in April 2019, a judge restored them to single status after the pair asked for a bifurcated judgment, which allowed them to be legally single while they continued to negotiate a financial settlement and permanent custody agreement for their kids. In October 2020, they began a private trial in an attempt to settle the custody side of things, but in the spring of 2021 — four-and-a-half years later — things still were not settled.
Talk about a mess! John Schneider and girlfriend Alicia Allain celebrated their love with a marriage ceremony "before God," they told People magazine, in July 2019 — even though he was still legally wed to Elvira "Elly" Schneider. Elly filed for divorce back in December 2014, and the legal proceedings lasted for nearly five years. In 2016, John was ordered to pay Elly nearly $19,000 a month in alimony but was either unable or unwilling to make the payments, leading to a three-day jail sentence in June 2018. In August 2019, TMZ reported that a judge had finally signed off on the divorce — but had penalized John for his actions, which included selling off one of their Louisiana properties without splitting the proceeds and draining one of their IRA accounts. The judge ruled that Elly will get their $600,000 California property, another IRA worth $60,000, a portion of John's Screen Actors Guild pension, $25,000 in monthly spousal support plus $279,000 to pay her legal fees.
This is downright crazy. Khloe Kardashian filed to divorce Lamar Odom in December 2013 amid his well-documented battle with drugs and cheating (he was M.I.A. for a good portion of the last few months of their marriage too). It was another 18 months until Lamar finally signed. But because Los Angeles County had a court backlog at the time, the paperwork sat around waiting for a judge to get to it to sign off. Meanwhile, Lamar had a near-fatal overdose in a Nevada brothel in October 2015, so Khloe went back to court to dismiss the divorce petition so that she could help him get back on his feet and make medical decision as his legal wife when he needed the support. After he recovered, Khloe filed for divorce for a second time in May 2016. A judge finally signed off in December 2016 — more than three years after they'd split.
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon's divorce proceedings lasted far longer than their courtship! After six years of wedded bliss following six weeks of dating, Nick and Mariah separated in August 2014. Nick filed for divorce that December, but the split was at a standstill for years. There were reports that Nick wouldn't sign off and that it really irked Mariah, who was engaged to Australian billionaire businessman James Packer at the time and hoping to get re-married. She and Nick were finally able to reach an agreement and finalized their divorce in November 2016 — a month after Mariah and James called off their engagement.
Hilary Duff and former NHL player Mike Comrie decided to separate in January 2014 but left the door open for reconciliation. "I mean, if there wasn't a chance for getting back [together], I think we would've filed for divorce," the former "Lizzie McGuire" star explained on KIIS FM 106.5. "We're not putting any — I talk about this so much, I really don't want to talk about it anymore — but we are like, I just talked to him this morning! We really care a lot about each other." Over the next year, the pair were spotted out and about on numerous occasions and even took multiple family vacations together. However, all hope for reconciliation was dashed when Mike made headlines for a wild, drunken night out in February 2015. Hilary filed for divorce the next day and their union legally ended in February 2016, two years after they separated.
This was a long divorce, but also one of the most amicable. Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow married in 2003 and announced their "conscious uncoupling" in March 2014 — a year after they'd quietly separated. But it wasn't until July 2016 that they were officially single people again. During that more than two-year stretch, they were often seen hanging out together and even took a family vacation together exactly a year after announcing their split. The pair are so close now that Chris even joined Gwyneth on her family honeymoon with new husband Brad Falchuk in January 2019.
Josh Duhamel and Fergie said sayonara to their eight-year marriage in September 2017. "With absolute love and respect we decided to separate as a couple earlier this year," they said in a statement. "To give our family the best opportunity to adjust, we wanted to keep this a private matter before sharing it with the public." Two years later, and Josh and Fergie were still legally married. In fact, Fergie only filed for divorce in May 2019. In November 2019, they were finally officially divorced.
These two announced their split on June 30, 2015, following 10 years of marriage. "After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce," Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck said in a statement. The pair didn't file any legal paperwork until April 2017, almost two years later, and didn't actually finalize their divorce until Oct. 4, 2018 — the same day Ben was released from a 40-day rehab program following an intervention led by Jen. The "Alias" actress reportedly wanted Ben to be sober before completing their divorce and related custody agreement.
In July 2011, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony separated. It took three more years before they were officially, legally dunzo. If you go by the date of the actual finalization of the divorce, they were married for just over 10 years. Double digits, with a slight caveat. Nice job, guys.
Amy Poehler and Will Arnett took their sweet time divorcing, didn't they! The duo split in September 2012 after nine years of marriage. The comedy stars — who share sons Archie and Abel — filed for divorce just under two years later in April 2014. But it wasn't until July 2016 that their divorce was finalized. That's nearly four years, folks.
After four years and some nasty legal wrangling, Richard Gere and Carey Lowell's divorce was finalized on Oct. 18, 2016, in New York. Details of the deal were not disclosed, but the duo were at odds through much of the process and often squabbled in court. Carey originally filed for divorce in 2012 after 10 years of marriage.
Chris Rock's divorce was ugly and long-lasting. The comedian filed for divorce from Malaak Compton-Rock, his wife since 1996, in December 2014. She requested a massive chunk of his estimated $70 million fortune. They even battled over a child they'd been raising but had never formally adopted (the couple also share two biological daughters). Yes, they had a prenup, but because they were married for so long, there's something called a "sunset clause" that essentially voided the document after the couple hit a certain number of years. Their divorce was finalized in August 2016. Chris later admitted he was unfaithful and wasn't a "good husband" during their union.
The third time wasn't the charm for Kelsey Grammer. In July 2010, he and "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Camille Grammer announced they'd split. Then it got ugly: It took 18 months for the divorce to become final but nearly two years more before they were able to settle disputes over money and custody of their two children.
Toni Braxton and Keri Lewis became single in July 2013, but it sure took a while to get to that point. The couple announced their split in November 2009. Do the math: It took almost four years to get un-hitched. "I had to figure out a plan for my life that had nothing to do with him," she told VH1 in 2012.