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Law Office of Gary R. Swavely, Jr. Blog

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

A Lesson On When to Call It Quits From Teresa & Joe Giudice Of RHONJ Fame

In late 2019, People magazine reported that Teresa and Joe Giudice are separating. The Real Housewives of New Jersey stars have endured a lot over their 20-year marriage, so why split up now? It’s a question only they can answer — just like it is a question only you can answer when it comes to your marriage. Nobody but you can decide when it is time to get a divorce.

A Few Rough Patches

Teresa and Joe were childhood sweethearts. They tied the knot in October 1999 and renewed their vows in September 2011 for an episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

RHONJ, which premiered in 2009, made Teresa, Joe, and their four daughters into celebrities. Their every move was filmed for tv, but their daily lives were also covered by the press. That alone would put a lot of stress on a relationship, but Teresa and Joe stood strong.

Behind the scenes, legal issues piled up. In 2009, the couple filed for bankruptcy. In 2010, Joe was arrested for DUI and had his license revoked. Later that same year, the bankruptcy trustee handling their case alleged the couple hid assets and income.

In early 2011, Joe was arrested for allegedly using his brother's identification to obtain a driver's license while his own was suspended due to the DUI. Later that year, the couple withdrew their bankruptcy filing after Joe invoked the Fifth Amendment when questioned about hiding assets and income.

In 2013, both Teresa and Joe were indicted on multiple counts of bank, bankruptcy, wire, and mail fraud. Prosecutors said they lied to a number of banks to obtain millions of dollars in mortgages, and hid assets and income in bankruptcy court. It was also revealed that Joe failed to pay his taxes and could face deportation.

Teresa and Joe ultimately pled guilty to some of the charges against them in exchange for a lighter sentence. Teresa served a little over 11 months in prison and was released in December 2015. Joe began a 41-month prison sentence for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud in March 2016. He was released in March 2019, only to be transferred to an ICE detention center here in Pennsylvania. He is appealing a judge’s ruling that he should be deported.

All this time behind bars means Teresa and Joe haven’t really lived together in over four years.

Why separate now?

Their relationship survived all this, so why separate now? In the RHONJ season nine reunion Teresa said, “So, I mean, I'm not doing a long-distance relationship. I'm just not doing it. I want somebody with me every day. And I know exactly what happens. Like, you know, I'm sure he'll be with other women. You know, it happens. So, if we do the long distance thing, it's not gonna work. I'll be like, ‘Bye, bye.’”

Until the couple releases a statement, or the reality show catches up to real-time, this is the information we have.

Only You Can Know When Your Relationship Is Over

Part of the reality-celebrity phenomenon is the feeling that we know the people featured on the show. That we could be friends with them, or give them advice if we ran into them in real life.

But the truth is we don’t know them at all. We see a version of them that producers and tabloid writers have crafted to sell to us. The only people who can really know what is going on in the Giudice marriage are Teresa and Joe themselves.

The same goes for you and your marriage. Only you can decide when it is time to get divorced. Your family and friends can’t make that decision for you. Neither can a divorce attorney.

At the Law Office of Gary R. Swavely, Jr., we can’t tell you if you should get divorced or not because we don’t know your heart. We can only advise you and help you make decisions for yourself. If you are ready to talk with an experienced divorce attorney, please contact our office to schedule an initial consultation.


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