Politics & Government

Jenny Sanford granted divorce; property settlement sealed

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Charleston, S.C., judge has ruled that Gov. Mark Sanford's admitted affair with an Argentine woman is grounds for his wife, Jenny, to divorce him.

Because the case involves adultery, the divorce will not be final until the judge signs the decree after a waiting period, likely in mid-March.

Jenny Sanford said she plans to remain at the former couple's Sullivan's Island home with their four sons. Gov. Sanford did not attend the hearing.

"The dissolution of a 20-year marriage is not a cause for celebration, it's a sad occasion," Jenny Sanford said afterward.

Jenny Sanford said her main goal now is to instill character in her children as she raises them as a single mother.

"This is the beginning of a new chapter for me and for our children."

The couple filed an agreement to resolve property and custody issues, but requested those records be sealed. As of right now, the entire file is sealed until the judge makes a ruling.

"There is a wealth of information the children are not aware of," Jenny Sanford said in court of sealing the agreement. Releasing the details would serve no public purpose, Jenny Sanford said, and would "cause further damage to my children"

The judge said she would rule on that request later.

On Friday, Gov. Sanford's office released a statement — the same as the one he released in December when news of his wife’s divorce filing became public.

"While it is not the course I would have hoped for, or would choose, I want to take full responsibility for the moral failure that led us to this tragic point,” Gov. Sanford said in his statement. “Jenny is a great person, and has been a remarkable wife, mother and first lady.

"I will join with her in asking the press to respect our shared desire for privacy as we quietly move forward. We respectively ask for your prayers."

Related stories from McClatchy DC