Judge says she'll approve Sanford divorce

Friday, Feb. 26, 2010 1:09 PM
Last updated 1:15 PM
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CHARLESTON, S.C. - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's divorce will become final next month, just over a year after the first lady discovered his affair with an Argentine woman he later called his soul mate.

Jenny Sanford sits in the courtroom during her divorce proceedings from South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, at the Charleston County Courthouse, in Charleston S.C. on Friday, Feb. 26, 2010.   AP/ Alice Keeney
AP/ Alice Keeney
Jenny Sanford sits in the courtroom during her divorce proceedings from South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, at the Charleston County Courthouse, in Charleston S.C. on Friday, Feb. 26, 2010.

Family Court Judge Jocelyn Cate said today she plans to OK Jenny Sanford's request to split from her husband of 20 years. The divorce takes effect in mid-March.

Jenny Sanford attended a 20-minute hearing without her husband. Afterr on the grounds of adultery, saying reconciliation efforts with her husband had been unsuccessful.

"The dissolution of a 20-year marriage is not a cause for celebration," she said Friday. "It's a sad occasion."

Mark Sanford had told his staff he was going hiking along the Appalachian Trail and disappeared for five days last summer, returning to publicly confess he had been in Argentina visiting Maria Belen Chapur, his mistress for a year.

Even after the publication of passionate e-mail exchanges between her husband and Chapur, and an Associated Press interview in which Mark Sanford called Chapur his "soul mate" and admitted "crossing the line" with other women, Jenny Sanford said she was willing to reconcile with the two-term governor.

But she said in court Friday those efforts did not work.

She said she had learned about the affair in January 2008, when she found a copy of a letter written to Chapur by her husband, once considered a possible 2012 GOP presidential contender. In the months that followed, he asked several times for permission to visit his mistress. She said no.

The day his wife filed for divorce, Sanford blamed himself for what he called "the moral failure that led us to this tragic point." In a reply to the filing last month, the governor admitted the affair and asked the court to approve his wife's request to end their marriage.

Jenny Sanford spoke briefly in court Friday, reiterating claims that her husband had been unfaithful to her, explaining her discovery of the letter and the couple's attempts to reconcile.

"I confronted him shortly thereafter, and he told me he would end it," she said. "We worked very diligently to put the marriage back together. ... Ultimately, we were unsuccessful."

Jenny Sanford has moved out of the Governor's Mansion in Columbia and is living with the couple's four sons at their beachside home on Sullivans Island.

The couple's divorce agreement was filed under seal, in part to protect the boys.

"The children didn't deserve what happened to them this whole year," she said. "Their world's been turned upside down"

Sanford, 49, is the first sitting governor to divorce in South Carolina, which in 1949 became the last state in the country to allow it. It's not unheard of for a governor to get divorced in office. New York first lady Mary "Tod" Rockefeller divorced Gov. Nelson Rockefeller in 1962 over his affair with a staff member, and Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons is in te," and made rounds of media interviews to promote it. In the book, Jenny Sanford wrote that her husband asked her advice about his romance and how to deal with the media after she discovered his affair.

An attorney for the governor said his client thought the divorce agreement was fair. Later, Sanford's office issued a statement complimenting his wife's patience and asking for the state's prayers.

His office also noted "first lady" is not an official role and said the state would no long

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corgimom
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corgimom 02/26/10 - 02:12 pm
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I've always said, if parents

I've always said, if parents could have a crystal ball and look into the future, and see what a divorce does to their kids, maybe they'd do things differently.

Notreally
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Notreally 02/26/10 - 02:54 pm
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Mark my words wait did I say

Mark my words wait did I say MARK, LOL... but Mark my words when he is no longer the Gov of SC and months have passed since this divorce, he's going to marry his mistress and cement their relationship. If this is his soulmate there is no way he won't be with her soon after these two things happen 1. His marriage is over and he's divorce and 2. he's out of the public eye. MARK MY WORDS LOL he's going to be with this woman for the rest of his life, the two of them are just abiding time.

Suzy Q
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Suzy Q 02/26/10 - 04:02 pm
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Jenny Sanford behavior has

Jenny Sanford behavior has been admirable.

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 02/26/10 - 04:39 pm
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Mark Sanford ought to be

Mark Sanford ought to be ashamed of himself. H

Fish Out of Water
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Fish Out of Water 02/26/10 - 05:02 pm
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Relative silence for an

Relative silence for an adulterating politician in the buckle of the bible belt. Wonder how many comments we would have by now if this wasn't a former conservative darling of the republican party.

corgimom
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corgimom 02/26/10 - 05:50 pm
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See, Suzy, I don't think so.

See, Suzy, I don't think so. She has said some pretty nasty things about her husband. And they are true; she isn't making it up. But those kids love their dad, right or wrong, and every nasty thing she says, hurts them. Nobody ever wants anybody saying bad things about their mother or father. And they never forget it.

brimisjoshan
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brimisjoshan 02/26/10 - 06:06 pm
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Fish Out of Water, if this

Fish Out of Water, if this had been a democrat I would have been equally sad. It is a terrible thing to see a marriage dissolve. I really don't think politics have a lot to do with this whole mess. When a man or woman commits adultery then they tear their whole family apart. Even if goes to his mistress he will be miserable because he will be out of the will of God. I pray that God makes him so miserable that he returns to his wife but she may never have him back again. With God all things are possible.

Suzy Q
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Suzy Q 02/27/10 - 02:30 am
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Corgimom you're right, the

Corgimom you're right, the things she's said about her husband haven't been pleasant at all, but they are the truth, and I can't imagine anything she says will affect her boys more than their father's public musings about his 'soul mate'.

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