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Tipper And Al Gore Calling It Quits After 40 Years

Former U.S. Senator and Vice President Al Gore and wife Tipper Gore have announced their plans to get legally separated after 40 years of marriage, according to the Washington Post. The couple, who met in high school, sent a jointly penned email to friends announcing the news:

"This is very much a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration."

Marital stress often goes hand-in-glove with politics, but close family friend Chris Downey told reporters that he was "beyond shocked," that he never would have expected this. The email to friends made it clear the couple wants to keep the matter as private as possible.

The Gores have lived in the former vice president's home state of Tennessee ever since the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial ruling in Bush v. Gore installed George W. Bush as the 43rd president following a disputed election. Since his defeat Al Gore has gone on to spread awareness about global warming, which garnered him a Nobel Peace Prize.

Tipper Gore is perhaps most famous for her 1980s-era crusade against sexually explicit music lyrics. More recently, she has used her clout to advocate for the mentally ill.

Now they'll have to decide who gets the $8.8 million Montecito, California home they bought together just months ago. They have four grown children and three grandchildren.

Two long time close friends cited by the Associated Press told reporters that the couple had said they "grew apart" but that there were no affairs or other such scandals. One of the anonymous sources said, "Their lives had gotten more and more separated."

There are about as many reasons for a legal separation as there are divorcing couples. In any event, it's usually a good idea to retain the services of a Georgia family law attorney.

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